Benjani suffers first PSL defeat

01 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Benjani suffers first PSL defeat Benjani Mwaruwari

The Sunday Mail

Don Makanyanga in MHONDORO-NGEZI
Ngezi Platinum Stars…………… 0
Harare City………………………….(0) 1

BENJANI MWARUWARI’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League honeymoon came to an end yesterday when a determined Harare City stopped his three-match unbeaten start at Baobab Stadium.
Emmanuel Mandiranga’s 69th-minute goal made the difference and handed the visitors the priceless points.
In the process, Harare City halted the mini-revival that Ngezi had been undergoing following Mwaruwari’s arrival as a replacement for Rodwell Dhlakama.

Having drawn his first two matches, before recording a maiden win away at ZPC Kariba last weekend, it was back to mother earth for the former Zimbabwe captain.

Mwaruwari described the defeat as a painful one but.

He, however, said he said drawn positives from the loss.

“Sometimes when you lose you need to go back and polish and improve.
“I need to improve as a coach, the players need to improve and it is painful to lose, but we are in football, it happens,’’ he said.

Ngezi fluffed a number of chances in the first half and their coach reckoned it was in that period in which they should have killed the game.

“As coach, you would love to win all your matches but at the end of the end the day, you are not playing alone and if you fail to capitalise on your chances, then you will be punished.

“We played very well in the first half and we should have buried the game, but we failed …that is what football is nowadays; if you fail to utilise chances, then you get punished.”

After being forced to play second fiddle in the first half, the visitors found their footing in the second half and got their breakthrough not long after.

Harare City’s turnaround in the second half impressed their coach Taurai Mangwiro.

“It was a very competitive game in which we came face-to-face with a well-drilled Ngezi Platinum Stars, which required us to dig deep to get something out of the game, and I am happy for the guys that at the end of it, we came out with the maximum points,’’ he said.

As if they got some notes from Chicken Inn, Mangwiro revealed that the secret to their triumph was suffocating Ngezi’s creative hub – Denver Mukamba.

“I think we deserved it, especially with our performance in the second half after we managed to diffuse Mukamba, thanks to Donald Muddi and Pio Tellmore who did well in midfield.
“I think that is where we won the match in the second half.”

Ngezi seized the initiative in the opening half as Marvellous Mukumba and Mukamba took charge of the midfield battle, where the former played a defensive role while the latter had free-attacking duties and was behind most of the chances his side created.

In the 15th minute, Mukamba did well to beat his markers and found an unmarked Tinotenda Musariranwa deep inside the Harare City half, but the Ngezi forward shot weakly towards goal, giving no problems to Kelvin Shangiwa in goals for Harare City.

Two minutes later, Mukumba released Delic Murimba on the right flank, who, in turn, sent in a low cross to Mukamba, but the 2012 Soccer Star saw his effort being blocked.

Murimba continued to haunt the Harare City defence and could have given the hosts a lead in the 35th minute when he came face-to-face with Shangiwa, but the former Triangle forward shot directly into the hands of the Harare City goalkeeper.

The pendulum was to shift towards Harare City in the second half as they duo of Pio Tellmore and Mudadi started dominating the midfield battle while unlocking the Ngezi defence and forcing the hosts to back-pedal.

Five minutes after the break, Harare City had a their first clear scoring chance when Mandiranga broke loose on the right flank, sending in a low cross which Wisdom Semure did well to control before unleashing a powerful shot that Nelson Chadya did well to stop by punching the ball back into play.

The ball fell invitingly for Clive Rupiya, who somehow failed to find the target from close range.
Harare City continued to ask questions of the hosts’ defence and they were rewarded in the 69th minute when Mandiranga pounced on a rebound which had initially been saved by Chadya from a powerful Mudadi shot.

Ngezi did not fashion more chances after Mukamba had been withdrawn in the 67th minute.

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