The Sunday Mail
Herentals FC …………………1
Ngezi Platinum Stars ………….0
TONDERAI NDIRAYA described Ngezi Platinum Stars’ fourth consecutive loss as a looming crisis which needs urgent attention after the title contenders fell to Herentals at the National Sports yesterday.
The Mhondoro based side lost to Bulawayo Chiefs, FC Platinum and Black Rhinos before the midseason break and Ndiraya was hoping for a change of fortunes against Herentals.
That was not be as 17-year-old Tino Benza struck in the 25th minute to condemn Ngezi to a fourth defeat on the trot.
Ndiraya’s charges still trail FC Platinum by six points after the log leaders also dropped three points against ZPC Kariba at Mandava yesterday.
“We need to act fast and stop the rot before it goes out of hand,” a dejected Ndiraya said.
“We have lost 12 points in four consecutive matches and as a coach you get worried and also it worries the institution.
“I would describe the situation as a crisis in our hands, it needs urgent attention.”
There was nothing much to write home about until the 25th minute when Herentals’ teenage forward Benza broke loose on the right wing before unleashing a powerful strike on the near post to put the hosts upfront.
Ndiraya blamed his defenders and goalkeeper Bernard Donovan for conceding what he described as “one of the silliest goals” that the Mhondoro based side has conceded of late.
“I am very disappointed as a coach with the way we are conceding goals, frankly we are conceding goals in school-boy blunders, something that you cannot expect at this level of the game.
“We failed to defend a simple ball, our defenders were flat and our goalkeeper as well.
“He should have come and intercepted the ball but his judgment was bad and allowed the striker to score from the near post,” moaned Ndiraya.
The Ngezi Platinum Stars coach had hoped that the two week break would accord his charges time to re-group and rediscover a form which saw the side go for 14 matches unbeaten in the first round of the 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
“A very disappointing result… I thought with the break we were going to re-group and start afresh but here we are, we have lost the game, and its four games in a row, not a good record,” said Ndiraya.
Madamburo were so poor that they had no shot on target the entire match.
While Ndiraya was mourning, Herentals coach Kumbirayi Mutiwekuziva was on cloud nine describing the win against Ngezi Platinum Stars as a sign of great things to come.
“It is an important victory for us, remember we lost 0-2 in the reverse fixture and getting a result against the second placed team in the Premiership gives us confidence going forward,” said Mutiwekuziva.
The Herentals gaffer paid tribute to his charges for having stuck to pre-match tactics.
“We knew if we were to play according to their play we would struggle hence we had to rely on counter attacks and tactically we were organised than them.
“We deserved to win,” said Mutiwekuziva.
Herentals FC: F. Kuchineyi, B. Maunganidze , C. Mavhurume, P. Chota, W. Chimbetu, G. Chinobva, B. Majarira, A. Majarira, R. Hachiro, B. Majarira( J. Mutudza 71’),T. Benza(R. Chishaya 71’)
Ngezi Platinum Stars: B. Donovan, T. Chipunza, L. Chakoroma, K. Murera, K. Bulaji, C. Augusto, T. Dzvukamanja ,F. Makarati (M. Charamba 71’) X Moyo (M. Chawodza 77’),T Mabvura (J. Nguluve 60’), G. Murwira