BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
BOTTOM side Bulawayo Chiefs employed the “dark arts” of football to steal their first point of the season against Harare City at Rufaro Stadium while Mushowani Stars took their first set of three points from Black Rhinos at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Bulawayo Chiefs went into week seven of the race as the only team without a point in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League and desperately needed to get off the mark.
They came to Harare with a simple plan to frustrate Harare City through time-wasting and they executed it well.
In the first half, goalkeeper David Bizabani hit the floor four times pretending to be injured each time the hosts gained momentum.
It was more of the same as in-field players joined in the act with Brandon Ndlovu, Shadreck Nyahwa, Shepard Mhlanga and Arthur Musiyiwa, among others, taking turns to get the stretcher into the field of play and buy precious minutes.
But Harare City were left cursing their luck after young forward Wilfred Muvirimi missed an 89th minute penalty in a match where goalscoring opportunities were at a premium.
Chiefs coach Farai Tawachera had no apology for his side’s tactics, but was instead thrilled with the point.
“In football you must be true to yourself. You need to look at the quality player versus player against Harare City and as a coach you have to work around that,” Tawachera said.
“If we are going to go pound for pound with them, they might kill us. It’s part of football going down to kill one or two seconds and in as much as it will sound a bit awkward and a bit dirty, but in football when you have a target you use everything within your power,” he said.
At the National Sports Stadium, striker Evans Katema scored a brace to give debutants Mushowani their first win in the top-flight league against Black Rhinos.
Katema, formerly with Ngezi Platinum Stars, beat Ashley Reyners in goals for Rhinos after 20 minutes to break the deadlock before doubling the score 11 minutes later.
The result puts a dent on Rhinos’ mini resurgence after going on two straight wins previously. But Mushowani remain struck in the relegation zone, placed 15th with five points in seven matches.
ZPC Kariba compounded Ngezi Platinum’s woes after Simbarashe Gorogodyo grabbed a late winner as the hosts bounced back from last week’s defeat to Dynamos.
The narrow victory saw ZPC Kariba move into second place on the log standings tied on 15 points with leaders Chicken Inn, who thumped Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium.
However, ZPC Kariba and Chicken Inn have played more matches than their nearest rivals, defending champions FC Platinum, Caps United and Hwange, who are all in action today.