The Sunday Mail
Harare City…………………………. 3
Mushowani Stars………………… 2
HARARE CITY coach Lloyd Chitembwe heaved a huge sigh of relief when his men came from behind to win in a tightly contested match against fellow relegation threatened side Mushowani Stars at Rufaro yesterday, thereby ending a four-game losing streak.
The visitors surged ahead as early as the fourth minute when midfielder Blessing Phiri headed home the opener after some hesitant defending by the hosts.
The Sunshine Boys then levelled matters in the 33rd minute when goalkeeper Admire Masuku failed to deal with what looked like a harmless effort, thereby allowing William Manondo to tap in the rebound.
Ishmael Wadi gave City the lead three minutes after the breather, but his effort was cancelled by Charles Rukwanhi in the 75th minute.
However, Manondo ensured City returned to its winning ways when he headed home a Moses Muchenje’s cross, 10 minutes from time.
Yesterday’s win ended a horrible run by Chitembwe’s charges, who had lost all of their four previous league games, leaving them with a complicated relegation matrix.
The win means they are out of the drop zone, at least for now, as they moved to 28 points, just one above Mushowani who occupy the last relegation slot.
Herentals, the other team in the drop zone, play today, and might match City’s points tally if they win.
Chitembwe is aware that the job is far from being done, although he remains optimistic that they will survive.
“It is never easy fighting relegation, but I thought today we did what we had to do, I am happy with the result.
“We will continue fighting, I think it is tenable. We just have to try and make it easier for ourselves, this is the way to go.
“Sometimes it is not about playing pretty football, it is about making sure the job is done. I am happy with the three points, that is what we desperately needed.
“Getting three points will give us confidence going into the next game,” said Chitembwe.
Coming into yesterday’s match, Mushowani had a good run. They had only lost one game in their previous five league matches.
Assistant coach Warren Mapanga said it was always going to be difficult to win against a City side that had been firing blanks for some time.
“They have been losing a lot of games and they were obviously hungry.
“We still have 24 points to play for and I think we need 13 points to be safe, which can be done.
“It will not be difficult to motivate these players in the remaining matches. We have been playing without getting any money in some games, we were just telling the players to market themselves,” said Mapanga.