Bulawayo City coach, Bekithemba “Super” Ndlovu finally had a smile on his face as an own goal by Ngezi Platinum’s Keith Murera handed his side his first victory since taking over as head coach from Amini Soma Phiri nine matches ago.
The result put a dent on Ngezi’s title chase as rivals FC Platinum beat Dynamos to open a five point gap at the top with five games remaining.
The home side started off on high gear and were duly rewarded in the 11th minute when Murera tried to clear a cross by Humprey Ncube but the ball rolled into his nets.
City, who are second from bottom with 19 points, held on to the goal despite efforts by Ngezi to come back into the game.
Ngezi dominated the second half, virtually restricting City to their own half and they created numerous chances but the equaliser was elusive.
Ndlovu looked a relieved man after the match and believes his charges had been unlucky in not winning as they had been playing well.
He said it was a sweet reward for their efforts and he declared a miracle is possible for them to win their remaining matches and climb out of the relegation zone.
“I think we have been doing well and playing good football.
“It’s only that results have eluded us.
“In our last game against Shabanie, we played well but made a mistake and they scored. Luckily we leveled the scores but we could not win it.
“It was reward for the hard work the boys have been putting in and I believe more wins are in store for us. We can win all the remaining games. Like I said before, I won’t give up until the last match of the season. The spirit is there, the unity is there, we can go all the way,” he said.
Madamburo, as Ngezi are known, fell to their seventh defeat of the season and now trail FC Platinum by five points in the championship fight.
Ngezi’s coach, Tonderai Ndiraya bemoaned the ‘small team syndrome’ that has seen them lose to so-called small teams while shining against the ‘big’ teams.
He blamed the players’ approach when facing minnows, saying they adopted a wrong mentality.
Ndiraya however gave credit to Bulawayo City, saying they worked hard to defend the goal.
The gaffer could not hide his disappointment, saying at this stage of the title fight, it Is crucial for his charges to show character by coming back into the game after falling behind.
“We had a frustrating afternoon as a team. After conceding a silly goal that we could have avoided, we failed to recover despite throwing at them (City) in the second half, we just couldn’t score.
“It is a worrying factor that we keep on losing to small teams, especially at this juncture of the title race but with five games, I believe its game on and there is all to play for,” said Ndiraya.
Bulawayo City: K Nyoni, T January (L nyathi, 70th), D Mhindirira (T Ndlovu, 21st), C Samakweri, O Zibande (T Tavengwa, 57th), Z Ngodzo, R Pavari, H Ncube, Z Subanda, I Kutsanzira, C Ncube
Ngezi Platinum: N Chadya, J Nguluve, P Moyo, K Bulaji, T Chipunza (C Augusto, 65th), K Murera, F Makarati, M Mushonga (W Mukanga, 54th), D Teguru, T Mabvura (M Charamba, 54th), G Murwira. Sunday Mail.