By Mukudzei Chingwere
Chapungu kept aspirations of retaining their Premiership status alive with a narrow victory over fellow servicemen Black Rhinos at Ascot yesterday. Striker Clive Rupiya’s second half volley was all the Gweru airmen needed to condemn the visiting army side to their third defeat in the second half of the season.
Yesterday’s result means Black Rhinos remain on 32 points, while Chapungu are now on 26 and five points above the drop zone.
Chapungu gaffer Rodwell Dhlakama said yesterday’s win had given his charges the much-needed confidence to fight against the drop following their 2-0 humbling in their last assignment.
“As you are aware that we are not sitting on a good position as far as the log standings is concerned, we just needed three points to give the players confidence.
“We started brightly in the second half of the season where we have lost only one game and looking at those statistics pointers are that we will do very well going forward.
“We just need to keep our heads above the water and I am confident it is very achievable,” said Dhlakama.
Rupiya had a chance to open the score sheet on the half hour mark, but he failed to connect with a Brighton Mugoni cross.
Seven minutes after the breather the forward made amends when he acrobatically put the hosts upfront with a volleyed effort beyond Ashley Reyners.
Wonder Kapinda had a chance to level the scoreboard minutes before full-time, but was denied by the agility of Warriors goalkeeper Talbert Shumba.
Rhinos coach Herbert Maruva felt it was a tough assignment, but maintained that the defeat would not affect his team’s aspirations of finishing among the top four.
“It was a tough match they got their chances and they punished us, it was a balanced game we just need to win our next game.
“We need to keep on working hard and like I said our target is top four, this was a set back, but we will come back stronger,” said Maruva.
Rhinos have battled for consistency in this year’s campaign. – The Herald
Chapungu: T Shumba, T Kumbuyani, H Mugoniwa, C Kwaramba, B Mbavarira, M Moenda, E Chirape (I Nyoni 53rd min), P Marufu (O Mukuradare 81st min), J Jam, B Mugoni (E Chitauro 90th min), C Rupiya
Black Rhinos: A Reyners, M Mambare (E Chigiji 62nd min), M Mekiwa, B Homora, S Jimu, D Mudadi, W Kapinda, T Jaravani, H Chimutimunzeve (T Sibanda 83rd min), W Taderera (K Dhlamini 74th min) L Chiunga