By Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS and Highlanders’ poor start to their 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season continues after they both crashed to comprehensive away defeats Saturday.
Highlanders, who have gone without a win from their opening three games, were upstaged by Harare City, who came from a goal down to secure a comfortable 3-1 victory at Rufaro Stadium.
Prince Dube opened the scoring in the 26th minute to put the visitors ahead but City responded just before the half-hour mark through Munyaradzi Diro-Nyenye who finished off Milton Ncube’s delivery inside the box.
Walter Mukanga then completed the turn-around with a tap-in in the 32nd minute before Tatenda Tumba, who was impressive all afternoon, dribbled past Bosso’s Peter Nyirenda before curling the ball past a diving Ariel Sibanda in the 56th minute.
Mukanga could have completed a brace in the match in the 76th minute but was denied from the spot by Sibanda.
Highlanders finished the match with 10 men after defender McClive Phiri was sent off for an early shower by the referee Norman Matemera for a second bookable offence in the incident that led to a penalty.
Highlanders’ technical manager Madinda Ndlovu blamed his players’ lack of desire, conceding that they could have lost by a bigger margin.
“Harare City were much hungrier than us today. I have to admit that we gave it away very cheaply. The score line is not the reflection of the game; we should have gone down with a much bigger margin today. The boys didn’t come to the party; we were struggling to string passes together and to play our normal game,” Ndlovu said.
Harare City coach Mark Harrison was relieved to collect his first win of the season.
“It was important for us not to lose this game for sure; we needed something from it. Like I said last week that performance means everything. If you perform, you get results and last week we didn’t perform in any manner from the first to the final whistle and we got what we deserved, we got beat well. Today we performed from start to finish and we had pretty much complete control of the game,” Harrison said.
In the other big clash of the day, Dynamos skipper Edward Sadomba was sent off in the first half as his side suffered their second consecutive defeat of the season following a 2-0 loss to Chicken Inn at Babourfields Stadium.
Sadomba received his marching orders three minutes before half time by referee Hardley Ndazi for a second bookable offence after fouling defender Moses Jackson in the 35th minute having earlier been yellow carded eight minutes earlier for a rude tackle on Xolani Ndlovu.
The expulsion of the Dynamos skipper triggered some crowd trouble from some frustrated Dynamos’ fans in the Mpilo End leading to play being temporarily stopped.
However, by the time Sadomba was red carded, Chicken Inn appeared on course for a comfortable victory after in-form striker Clive Augusto converted from the penalty spot in the in the 10th minute to register his fourth in three games.
Marvin Gaki doubled the lead after catching the Dynamos defence ball-watching to beat the offside trap and double the score in the 22nd minute.
Meanwhile, in the other PSL match played at Mandava, ZPC Kariba midfielder Collen Mleya scored the only goal of the match in the 30th minute to ensure his side maintained their good start of the season with a 1-0 win over TelOne at Mandava Stadium.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Results and Fixtures
Saturday: TelOne 0-1 ZPC Kariba, Harare City 3-1 Highlanders, Chicken Inn 2-0 Dynamos
Sunday: Hwange v Ngezi Platinum (Colliery), Herentals v Yadah (Rufaro), Triangle v Manica Diamonds (Gibbo)
Monday: Mushowani Stars v FC Platinum (Rufaro)
Postponed: Black Rhinos v Bulawayo Chiefs, CAPS United v Chapungu.