Tadious Manyepo in MHONDORO
Ngezi Platinum Stars…………………(0)1
NGEZI Platinum Stars took another huge step towards a maiden league title although they had to dig deep for this Castle Lager Premier Soccer League victory at Baobab yesterday.
Defender Kudzai Chigwida scored the all-important goal very late in the game to secure the maximum points for the home side.
With 57 points in the bag, the Mhondoro team restored their eight-point gap at the top although second-placed Dynamos still have an outstanding fixture.
Ngezi Platinum need 11 points from the remaining five games to take the title to Mhondoro.
It was a nervy encounter with so much tension between two clubs chasing contrasting goals.
After squandering many clear-cut scoring opportunities in the opening half with Delic Murimba, Takunda Benhura and Bruno Mtigo the guilty parties, the hosts were almost made to pay for it by their guests who looked more focused in the second half.
Coach Takesure Chiragwi needed to take responsibility as the match seemed headed for a draw.
That would have meant dropping five points in a matter of four days after losing 1-2 against Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium last Wednesday.
He brought in captain Qadr Amini, who has been the team’s X-factor this season for the faltering Ellson Mweha.
He also introduced Marvellous Mukumba, Claude Mapoka, Malvin Gaki and Nigel Makumbe as he went for the kill.
Amini picked Chigwida inside the box with the latter slicing the ball beyond the ‘keeper’s reach to seal the win.
“It was a really tough match. We created a lot of chances but on more than three occassions, we switched off at the wrong moment,” said Chiragwi.
“But, my players showed a lot of mental strength.”