Reporter TOMPSON JOSH
Ngezi Platinum Stars . . (1)1
ZPC Kariba . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
NGEZI Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya said there is no bad win after his troops scrapped to a narrow, but crucial victory over ZPC Kariba at home to reduce the gap between them and log leaders FC Platinum to just two points.
With FC Platinum dropping points in Harare against Black Rhinos, the result at the end of the day proved to be a significant one for Ngezi even though they will be the first to admit they didn’t shift into second gear.
They had a number of good chances, especially in the first half, but they could not convert them.
Midfielder Keith Murera’s goal, just before the half-hour mark, off a cross from Michael Charamba, made all the difference.
Charamba’s assist made up for the way he missed a number of decent chances for his team in this pressure game.
The platinum miners have now taken their tally to 57 points from 26 games.
Champions FC Platinum lead the race with a two-point cushion over the chasing pack, with Ngezi in second place.
“Three points, I am happy. I think that’s what is important,’’ said Ndiraya. “Of course, we were not really ourselves today, we didn’t play really well.
“But l am happy by the way we fought, the determination and the commitment put in by the boys for us to get three points.
“I guess that’s what is important at this time of the season, collecting maximum points and moving on.
“I have said that at this time of the season it’s not about how you play but just getting the points that you want.
“Of course, we want to play well to entertain fans, but I guess this time of the season is just about concentrating on getting maximum points and we have done that today.’’
While welcoming the draw between rivals FC Platinum and Black Rhinos, Ndiraya warned there will be more twists and turns in the remaining eight matches.
“We still have so many matches to go, 24 points to play for, and that’s still a long way to go,’’ the coach said.
“I have said it before that there are going to be twists and turns.
“FC Platinum dropped points away, we are also going away in our next match. We just have to make sure we go there and fight for points.
“It is not going to be easy for us.’’
The visitors, with a bit of luck, could have forced a draw, particularly in the last minutes of the match when they forced a number of corner kicks.
Ngezi goalkeeper, Donovan Bernard, was forced to make a fine save off Moses Demera’s lob.
That was as close as it gets.
ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi felt his charges could have got a point.
“A very frustrating defeat. We gave them a lot of respect in the first half,’’ he said. “They were playing long balls and nothing else.
“In the second half l think we were the better side.
“We came back strongly but showed signs of desperation. We had a chance of equalising but unfortunately we couldn’t.
“I was happy with the way Simba Gorogodyo came in the second half to control the game and also taking them on.
“We are playing Highlanders over the weekend, we need to regroup and make it a point to get a good result,” said Tamirepi.
Ngezi Platinum: B. Donovan, N. Ketala, P. Moyo, K. Bulaji, T. Chipunza (L Chakoroma, 84th min), F. Makarati, M. Charamba (D. Teguru, 74th min), M. Mushonga, G. Murwira, C. Augusto (S Owusu 71minute), K. Murera
ZPC Kariba: T. Mawaya. P. Ghani (M Demera 40th minute). M. Kunyarimwe. I. Nekati. S. Appiah. C. Muleya. T. Chamboko. T. Ranthokoane. T. Munyanduri. T. Nyamandwe (B Nyamuzihwa, 78 minute). D. Temwanjira (S. Gorogodyo, 59th minute)