BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE IN SHAMVA
SIMBA BHORA . . . . . . . . . (2) 4
CHEGUTU PIRATES . . . . . (0) 0
SHAMVA-BASED Northern Region Soccer League (NRSL) side Simba Bhora stormed into the semi-finals of the Axis Solution Super 8 Cup after beating Chegutu Pirates in an ill-tempered clash, which saw both teams finish the match one man short at Wadzanai Stadium yesterday.
NRSL top scorer Tinashe Balakasi netted a brace while former Dynamos and attacking midfielder Barnabas Mushunje as well as Michael Debra grabbed a goal each as Simba thumped the visitors.
Simba did not allow the visitors to settle in their backyard after taking an early lead through former Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum attacking midfielder Mushunje inside the opening six minutes.
Mushunje was awarded the man of the match accolade, but it was veteran former ZPC Kariba fullback Dexter Phiri who caught the eye after he was involved in three of the four goals.
Simba coach Arthur Tutani was pleased with the win.
“Simba Bhora came to the party and played their game because of the beautiful surface. When we are at home we play well because we play tiki-taka football. I hope when we are away we can play the same type of football, but the problem is some of the grounds are bumpy,” the veteran gaffer said.
Mushunje produced a piece of individual brilliance, leaving his marker for dead before finding the bottom corner from an angle inside six minutes.
But a moment later a fracas ensued following an off the ball incident which led to the sending off of Simba Bhora’s Constatine Tinapi and Lewis Milanzi of Chegutu Pirates.
Balakasi doubled the score five minutes before halftime with a poacher’s goal poking home a low cross by Dexter Phiri.
Phiri was also involved in the third goal after he won the hosts a spot-kick which was converted by Balakasi in the 57th minute.
For the third goal, Phiri went on a mazy run beating a cluster of Pirates defenders and the goalkeeper before selflessly squaring the ball for Michael Debra to walk it into the empty net and complete the rout.
“I think we approached this game badly; our approach was not up to the standards of division one. If we had approached this game the way we had planned I think the result may have gone the other way,” Pirates coach Richard Chunga said.