Veteran striker Stephen Sibanda scored an all-important goal that saw Manica Diamonds edge Mushowani Stars in a Castle Lager Premier League match at Gibbo yesterday.
Sibanda, who came in on the 56th minute for Marshal Mudehwe, scored from a solo effort 15 minutes before time to send the home fans into a frenzy.
Interestingly, Manica Diamonds, who have adopted Gibbo Stadium as their home ground following the banishment of Sakubva in Mutare and Vengere Stadium in Rusape were condemned by the Premier Soccer League for failing to meet the top-flight standards, are enjoying good support in the Lowveld.
They are still unbeaten at the venue, winning both their home games and drawing away to Triangle at the same venue.
Manica Diamonds coach Luke Masomere said the win was a morale booster ahead of the team’s long trip to Hwange in their next assignment.
“I think we played better in the first half, but in the second half we were in a hurry and the rhythm of the team was greatly disturbed, we defended well, and fortunately we got the much needed goal.
“The win will boost the confidence of players when we visit Hwange in our next game because we go there without any pressure,” Masomere said.
His Mushowani counterpart Newman Mashipe said that his side conceded “a soft goal’’ and was disappointed that it came late after a very good game from his charges.
“I just feel my boys played well and also Manica Diamonds displayed good football, it was good game, we failed to utilise the chances we got and we were punished,” Mashipe said.
Masomere made one change to a side that was held to a two-all stalemate against Triangle, with veteran defender Partson Jaure, who was sidelined because of an injury, coming in for Nelson Tachi who is also injured.
J.Muchambo, L.Masibhera, P. Mpelele, P.Jaure, C.Munzabwa, T. Mamvura, T.Kachembere, M.Mudehwe (S. Sibanda 56min), T.Mukono, I.Lawe, B.Marere,
H.Makainganwa, C.Muvuti, G.Bvundura (S.Savare43min) M.Doley, M.Eria, W.Tafa, B.Phiri, (T.Mutandi 50 min), D.Kamanga, L.Mutawu (J.Tulani 52), E, Katema. The Herald