The Sunday Mail
Don Makanyanga in NGEZI
Ngezi Platinum Stars . . . . . 4
Bulawayo City . . . . . . . . . . . 0
TONDERAYI NDIRAYA does not doubt that his Ngezi Platinum Stars have the pedigree to win this year’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title.
Speaking after watching his team cruise to victory over Bulawayo City, courtesy of a Terrence Dzukamanja brace and goals from Marlon Mushonga and Tichaona Mabvura that stretched his team’s unbeaten start to the season in 12 matches, Ndiraya reiterated that his team is going for the big one.
“We have assembled a very good team this season and there is nothing that can stop us from winning the title, although I feel FC Platinum can give us a challenge,” said Ndiraya.
“I think the signs are showing (of winning the title) but we can only judge when we have the trophy. We made it clear at the beginning, we are going for the title and the signs are showing but we will keep our feet down.
“I’ve said it and will say it now, we have assembled a good team, better than last season. We have huge depth, I hope we are able to manage the squad to keep all the players happy.
“I think the signs (of winning the title) are showing but we can only judge when we have the trophy.”
Ndiraya, however, felt the 4-0 score line is a bit flattering.
“With some bit of luck, these guys could have scored two goals, and these are the things we want to work on to plug those holes. But all the same four goals are a good sign of a team that is very offensive,” he said.
Bulawayo City coach Amin Soma Phiri also tipped Ngezi Platinum Stars to win the league title, saying there is nothing he could do to stop the log leaders.
“We played very well but Ngezi is a well-built team. The team is championship material and you cannot argue against it,” said the Bulawayo City coach.
Ndiraya acknowledged the endorsement but was quick to highlight that there is still a long way to go.
“It’s good to hear a colleague, Amini Soma Phiri, talking about our title credentials but it’s not going to be easy to win the title, it’s still a long way to go, we will not be flattered. There’s a lot of work to be done, we are doing well but we still have a lot (of ground) to cover,” he said.
Dzukamanja put Ngezi Platinum ahead in the 15th minute before he completed his brace in the 81st minute from the penalty spot, after Michael Charamba had his heels clipped by Rainsome Pavari from a goal scoring position.
Pavari earned a straight from referee Ruzive Ruzive.
Mushonga scored Madamburo’s second goal of the afternoon in the 26th minute before Mabvura sealed the win in the 85th minute, tapping in Michael Charamba’s rebound.
Yet it was Bulawayo City who threatened as early as the second minute in one of their two shots on target in the entire 90 minutes.
Toto Banda was also guilty of missing clear cut chances for Bulawayo City, forcing Phiri to substitute the former Chicken Inn midfielder in the 38th minute.
Ngezi Platinum Stars: D. Bernard, K. Bulaji, L. Chakoroma, K. Murera, J. Nguluve (C. Agusto 71), T. Dzukamanja, D. Teguru (M. Charamba 71), T. Mabvura, M. Mushonga, F. Makarati, T. Chipunza
Bulawayo City: T. Ndoro, Z. Ngodzo, Z. Sibanda, H. Ncube, E. Mudzingwa, R. Pavari, S. Ndlovu, A. Ncube (L. Nyathi 47), C. Rupiya (T. Tavengwa 59), T. Banda (J. Kaunda 38), N. Ndlovu