By Don Makanyanga in Mhondoro -Ngezi
Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Erol Akbay had to convey a late night meeting on Friday, as he tried to convince his players to end their stand-off with the club over bonus and salary increments.
“I was alerted late into the night, and had a chat with both the club and the players to try and fix it things.
“The club gave an offer to the players and I explained to them (players) what the players wanted.
“Fortunately, by midnight everyone was happy,” said the Dutchman.
Akbay revealed that he was caught in-between a rock and a hard place as he had to back both the club and players in his efforts to find a common ground ahead of yesterday’s match against TelOne.
“As a coach, sometimes you have to be behind the players and also behind the club, and this issue was one such case. Hopefully, everything is now sorted,” he said.
Turning onto yesterday’s match, the former Highlanders coach said his charges were lucky to get three points.
“Today (yesterday) we were lucky to walk away with the three points, as I did not find the performance convincing,” said Akbay.
Akbay had to make a huge gamble throwing into the fray a seemingly injured Simbarashe Nhivi, who was making his first start for the Mhondoro based side since joining the club during the mid-season transfer window last year.
The gamble paid off as the former Caps United striker put the hosts into the lead, 12 minutes into the game, after he headed in a Nelson Ketala set-piece.
Soon after the goal,Telone took charge of the game but their biggest let down was in the final third.
The Wifi-boys simply could not find the back of the net.
TelOne had an opportunity to restore parity in the 39th minute, but David Mangesi failed to connect Marvelous Chigumira’s cross.
The second half resumed with both teams failing to create any meaningful chances. The only meaningful chance that came was eight minutes from time, when TelOne’s Emmanuel Zinyama was denied a goal by the upright.
As Telone continued to press for a late equaliser and had a goal disallowed on the stroke of full-time when referee Edward Mucharambeyi adjudged Fraderick Muza to be in an off-side position.
Despite being happy with his boys’ performance, Telone coach Jairos Tapera felt the goal should have stood.
“We lost one nil but in earnest I think we could have gotten something in the late stages of the match.
“From where I was, I thought it was a goal but the referee clearly had a better view,” said Tapera.
Ngezi Platinum Stars: T Munditi, N Ketala, K Bulaji, Polite Moyo, Tichaona Mabvura, F Makarati, X Moyo, B Mtigo, S Nhivi (D Teguru 46’, M Mushonga 78’), K Murera, M Kwinjo (M Charamba 58’)
TelOne: T Huni, S Phiri, F Bushiri, M Chigumira, I Zambezi, James Jam, E Zinyama, David Mangesi (M Ponyera 52’), E Mandiranga, T Sibanda, B Sibanda (F Muza 52’) The Sunday Mail