ZPC Kariba 2-0 Highlanders
ZPC KARIBA signalled their intention to put behind them the agony of last season when they dismissed Highlanders 2-0 in a premiership match played at Gwanzura in Harare on Saturday.
Saul Chaminuka’s side finished runners-up last season, agonisingly losing the championship to Dynamos on the last day, but they kicked off in emphatic style on Saturday.
Highlanders dominated the early exchanges with 18-year-old Young Warriors striker and former Prince Edward schoolboy, Thomas Chidewu, the star of the show.
The youngster threatened as early as the ninth minute, but his shot was blocked by last season’s soccer star of the year, Dennis Dauda, who stood firm in the Kariba defence supported by veteran George Magariro.
Highlanders could have taken the lead on 15 minutes but centre-back and former Shabanie Mine player Douglas Sibanda’s watched in disbelief as his bullet of a free kick was parried for a corner by ZPC Kariba goalkeeper Wilson Muchenje.
And it was the home side who stuck first after 26 minutes when former Dynamos winger Russel Madamombe was fouled by Highlanders right-back Webster Chingodza.
The visitors felt Madamombe went to the ground too easily. They also protested that the incident happened outside the box but the referee, Thabani Bamala, was not convinced as he pointed to the spot.
Raphael Manuwire, making a return to the ZPC Kariba side after a lengthy injury lay-off, converted the spot kick to give the hosts the lead.
Striker Artwell Nyamiwa doubled the lead two minutes from the break when he beat an offside trap, raced onto a chip by Dexter Phiri and expertly placed the ball beyond the reach of Bosso keeper Njabulo Nyoni.
That goal was enough to ensure Kariba collected the maximum three points.
Coach Saul Chaminuka said the win was a huge boost for his side.
“It was an important victory, a morale booster because it is always nice to start with a win,” he said.
“Probably it is a good omen for us because we want to avoid relegation first and then see what happens later.”
His Highlanders counterpart Bongani Mafu said the penalty decision was an injustice.
“The boys lacked mental strength after that penalty, they thought the impeded player was outside the box and it demoralised them,” he said.Advertisement
“We still have a lot of work to do though. We dominated some parts of the game, but failed to convert the chances. It is back to the drawing board.”
FIXTURES & RESULTS
Friday: Harare City 0-1 Tsholotsho FC (Rufaro Stadium)
Saturday: FC Platinum 2-2 Dongo Sawmills (Mandava Stadium), Chicken Inn 2-0 Flame Lily (Luveve Stadium), Dynamos 3-0 Buffaloes (NSS), ZPC Kariba 2-0 Highlanders (Gwanzura Stadium)
Sunday: Triangle United v Hwange (Gibbo Stadium), How Mine v Chapungu (Luveve Stadium), Whawha FC v Caps United (Ascot Stadium)