Ngezi Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 3
Triangle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(0) 1
NGEZI Platinum’s resurgence under Tonderai Ndiraya continued as the new boys beat visiting Triangle at Baobab Stadium in Ngezi yesterday.
BY HENRY MHARA IN NGEZI
James Ngulube opened the scoring for the home side on 28 minutes before Edgar Tapera added another in the 69th minute.
Talent Chamboko made sure of the points with eight minutes remaining after Simba Makoni had reduced the deficit in the 80th minute.
With the win, Ngezi continue with their movement up the log table to seventh place with 21 points, one behind Triangle.
It was the home side’s fifth consecutive game without defeat, a run which began in the wake of Ndiraya’s arrival.
The former Dynamos coach attributed the turnaround to hardwork by the faltering squad he inherited, starting with a simple task of not conceding goals.
The team has conceded just two goals in the five games he has overseen.
Yesterday’s win was even more fulfilling for Ndiraya, as he achieved it at the expense of his former master David “Yogi” Mandigora.
Mandigora, while admitting he was outwitted by his former assistant, also accused his players of letting him down by missing the opportunities they created.
Triangle were on the front foot in the opening period of the match, threatening to overrun their opponents.
They created their first real chance as early as the third minute, but failed to capitalise from the melee inside the Ngezi penalty box.
When another chance arrived for them in the 13th minute, skipper Nhamo Lameck dragged his shot wide from a good range.
They soon rued the missed opportunities when Washington Pakamisa collected the ball after a mistake by defender Ralph Kawondera before lobyig it to Ngulube, who cooled it down with his chest before firing past Triangle keeper Nicho Francis as the hosts took a slender lead into the halftime break.
It almost got better for Ngezi 10 minutes after the restart when Walter Mukanga, playing his third game for the team since joining from Dynamos, headed towards goal, but Francis somehow kept the ball out with his leg.
But there was nothing Francis could do to prevent Tapera’s bullet header on the far post from a corner kick minutes later. The goalscorer, together with most of his teammates in their celebration, ran and hugged Ndiraya in a clear show of support for the new coach.
They were almost caught off-guard though when the referee allowed Triangle to restart the match when most of the Ngezi players were still celebrating.
Makoni gave his side some hope of a comeback when he volleyed home a goal that created some sense of anxiety within the home crowd.
However, all fears were allayed when Chamboko ghosted from the blind side to meet a cross from the galloping fullback Kumbiraishe Kapikinyu.
Both teams created chances in the last few minutes of the game, but at the end, it was Ngezi who finished as deserving winners.
Ngezi Platinum: N Chadya, K Kapikinyu, T Chamboko, K Machona, L Chakoroma, E Tapera, W Mukanga, J Marufu (I Sokosi, 82′, J Ngulube (K Bulaji, 81′), D Tavari, W Pakamisa (E Katema, 85′)
Triangle: F Nicho, R Kawondera, N Meson, D Dzvinya, G Zhokinyi, T Huwa (C Mukanhairi, 81′), H Mavundi, M Gaki (P Mhlanga, 62) , C Denias, S Makoni, L Nhamo (J Chivasa, 62′)