BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE IN MHONDORO-NGEZI
NGEZI PLATINUM STARS… 0
INFORM Harare giants Dynamos survived a late onslaught from hosts Ngezi Platinum Stars to snatch a point, which saw them climb to the top of the log standings after a high stakes encounter at Baobab yesterday.
It was the hosts’ coach Benjani Mwaruwari’s first match in charge at the Baobab and he was hoping to make a very good impression.
Dynamos on the other hand were looking for their first league win in Mhondoro-Ngezi since the platinum miners were promoted to the topflight league in 2016.
The Glamour Boys have also failed to beat Ngezi Platinum Stars in the last six league meetings since their 3 – 2 win in an evening match played on June 16, 2016.
And they have to wait a little longer to celebrate a win against the ambitious platinum miners. But so precious was the point that Dynamos got that it helped them soar to the top of the premier league.
“It feels good to be at the top, but there is still a long way to go. Of course, it gives you confidence, but at the same time it demands you to put even more effort because it is more pressure on the team,” Ndiraya told journalists after the match.
“And we just had to push harder than what we are doing at the moment because for you to stay at the top you have to be at your best in each and every game.
“I thought Ngezi Platinum Stars were strong today just like we anticipated. We knew that they will be very strong especially when they play here at home. I thought we managed the game quite well. I thought we defended very well especially in the second half,” Ndiraya added.
Played in windy conditions, it was a game of two halves with the first belonging to Dynamos, who were in favour with the wind.
Enjoying the lion’s share of possession Dynamos came close through Emmanuel Paga, who shot over after a lovely exchange with Shadreck Nyahwa halfway through the first half.
It was Paga and young Bill Antonio, who were causing all sorts of problems for the home defenders.
In the second half the visitors were playing against the wind and it was their turn to put a defensive masterclass, which they did.
Ngezi Platinum turned on the power in the last 20 minutes creating the first big chance of the match in the 70th minute when Denver Mukamba found himself face to face with Dynamos goalkeeper Mvula from an angle and the goalkeeper produced a brilliant save.
Mvula was again called upon the next minute when he did just enough to tip out Amini’s speculative shot from distance.
And from the resultant corner kick Kudzanai Chigwida’s goal bound header was cleared off the line by Tinotenda Muringai.
Substitute Takunda Benhura had another big opportunity to give the hosts the lead, but failed to direct Ariel Makopa’s cross into goal finding a header unmarked in the box 13 minutes before full-time.
Dynamos heaved another sigh of relief when a penalty shout was waved away after Tinotenda Muringai appeared to have handled in the box.
Former Dynamos talisman Mukamba’s corner kick late in the game looked headed for the far post and Mvula did well to claw it out.
Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Mwaruwari was pleased with a second point since his appointment a couple of weeks ago.
“I think there were a lot of positives from our boys. They played so well with a clean sheet as well and this is my first game at home so I am very impressed with the boys.
“When you are building something you need to be patient. It is a point gained considering that we created a lot of chances which is a positive to me and they followed the instructions. It’s unfortunate that we missed those chances. Let’s hope in future we will convert them,” the former Warriors captain said.
Ngezi Platinum Stars : N Chadya, P Moyo, A Makopa, M Mukumba, K Chigwida, Q Amini, M Mushonga, D Mukamba, V Kadonzvo, B Mtigo (T Benhura 66′), D Murimba ( T Murasiranwa 84′)
Dynamos: T Mvula, F Makarati, T Muringai, P Jaure, G Murwira(K Murera 90′), E Jalai, T Mavhunga, S Nyahwa, E Paga ( E Katema 82′), B Antonio, B Mpofu
Castle Lager Premiership Results & Fixtures
Yesterday: Ngezi Platinum 0-0 Dynamos; Herentals 1-0 Triangle; Black Rhinos 2-1 ZPC Kariba; Bulawayo City 0-2 FC Platinum; Whawha 3-0 Chicken Inn
Today: CAPS United v Yadah (NSS); Highlanders v Cranborne Bullets (Barbourfields); Manica Diamonds v Bulawayo Chiefs (Sakubva).