TERRENCE Dzvukamanja produced a brilliant late goal that made the difference as Ngezi inflicted the first defeat on high-flying Highlanders in a tense top of the table clash at Boabab yesterday.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
The goal, a culmination of a mazy run by the Warriors winger was scored with in the 82nd minute.
However, celebrations were spoiled by overzealous police officers who fired three teargas canisters at a handful of supporters scuffling after the final whistle.
Ngezi have made a fortress out the Boabab having gone 27 matches without a defeat.
Their last home loss came in August 2016 when they lost 2-0 to How Mine and remain the only undefeated team in the league this season.
“It was a very tough match but I have a feeling that we were in control of the match the entire 90 minutes. We picked three important points and the journey is still on. It’s only eight games of the season there are still a lot of games coming I hope we will keep push on and get more results,” hosts coach Tonderai Ndiraya said after the match.
Highlanders were the first to fire warning shots within the first two minutes when MacClive Phiri crushed his curling free kick on to the crossbar.
The hosts hit back almost immediately but Ariel Sibanda did well turn Keith Murera’s stinging drive moments later.
Xolisani Moyo had another chance to nose Ngezi ahead after he allowed a free header and Sibanda was relieved the ball sail just wide.
Ngezi dominated the early exchanges in the second half but failed to create meaningful chances.
Instead it was Newman Sianchali who could not believe his luck or lack thereof when the ball bounced graciously for him in the six yard box after one hour of place.
But he inexplicably skied his efforts.
Sianchali was culprit again 13 minutes later after being sent through by Phiri, his low shot beat Donovan Bernard and cannoned off the upright post.
As they have done a lot lately, Ngezi left it late to grab a winner this time Dzvukamanja the hero.
Debutant Ghanaian Steve Owusu won a tackle in the center of the park and pushed the ball to Dzvukamanja.
Dzvukamanja ran the full length of the Highlanders half to best Sibanda at the near post.
Bosso coach Madinda Ndlovu, who was not happy with the condition of the pitch, felt his side was unlucky not to come out of the contest with atleast a point.
“We hit the post twice which is a sign that it not our day we should accept that. I have nothing against Ngezi but I think the powers that be should take the conditions of this pitch seriously. We want to play in an equal and well-conditioned pitch. It’s not a bad pitch, it’s a good pitch but why waterlog it?” Bosso mentor Madinda Ndlovu said of the Boabab turf.
Ngezi Platinum Stars: D. Bernard, K. Bulaji, L. Chakoroma, K Murera, W. Mukanga, T Dzvukamanja, C. Augusto (M. Bushings 88′), T. Mabvura (S. Owusu 76′), X. Moyo ( J. Nguluve 68′), F. Mukarati, T. Chipunza
Highlanders: A. Sibanda, C. Siamalonga, H. Moyo, M. Phiri, A. Silla, B Banda, N. Sianchali, B. Musaka, Godfrey Makaruse (O. Zibande 66′),P. Muduhwa, G, Nyoni
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League results and fixtures
Yesterday: Mutare City 0-1 FC Platinum, Black Rhinos 0-0 Bulawayo Chiefs, Herentals 0-0 Harare City, Nichrut FC 3-4 CAPS United, Chicken Inn 1-1 Yadah FC, Shabanie Mine 1-1 ZPC Kariba, Ngezi Platinum Stars 1-0 Highlanders
Today: Dynamos v Bulawayo City (Rufaro), Tringale v Chapungu (Gibbo)