BY KEVIN MAPASURE
Manica Diamonds…. (1) 2
Black Rhinos…………… (0) 1
MANICA Diamonds yesterday breathed a collective sigh of relief after they registered their first win in Group 3 of the 2021 Chibuku Super Cup at Sakubva Stadium.
Going into the match, the diamond miners were the only team that was yet to register any point from all four groups.
They sat at the basement of Group 3 seemingly on their way out of the competition and their coach Johannes Nhumwa, a strong candidate for the sack, yesterday just got everything right.
Nhumwa made seven changes, which helped his side deliver two goals that came through Marshal Mudehwe after just four minutes and Charles Teguru who doubled their lead with 26 minutes left in the match.
Black Rhinos threatened to spoil Manica Diamonds’ party after they profited from a Jorum Muchambo blunder for Ashward Phiri’s goal late in the match. And after that, the soldiers pushed on and got close after sticking the cross bar at the dearth.
Manica Diamonds showed from the start that they needed this win and were lively in their approach.
They won a free kick just outside the penalty box and Mudehwe curled his effort over the wall and beyond a stunned Stanley Chakwana in goals for the army side.
Rhinos were awakened by the setback, but they rarely troubled Muchambo.
The Gem Boys always looked dangerous on the counter, especially with the ball in Mudehwe’s feet.
Bruce Homora was often the stumbling block for the Manica Diamonds forwards. They eventually penetrated when Teguru, one of the shorter players on the park, rose highest to nod home following a cross from the right.
At that point, with 26 minutes left, Manica Diamonds were well on course. Despite conceding late, their stoic defending, especially by Temba Ndlovu helped them carry through.
Their win has made the outlook of Group 3 the more exciting with Black Rhinos maintaining top spot with four points, the same as Cranborne Bullets while Tenax and Manica Diamonds have three.
Tenax clash with Cranborne Bullets in a lunch time kick-off today.