Bulawayo City …………………………………………….. (1) 1
Mutare City Rovers ………………………………………….. 0
FOR a second consecutive game, Bulawayo City finished with 10 men, only that this time around they were on the winning side, seeing off Mutare City in a lively Castle Lager Premier Soccer League contest played at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
A first half injury time goal by Mkhululi Moyo ensured Bulawayo City of their eight win of the season. However, Amakhosi finished with 10 men on the field of play, impressive skipper Xolisani Moyo sent off by referee Philani Ncube two minutes before the end for a second bookable offence. Moyo had two minutes earlier been shown a yellow card for deliberately handling the ball and when he went down easily inside the Mutare City box, Ncube had no option but to send him off for simulation. In their 2-1 defeat to Harare City, the Bulawayo side had Brian Chikwenya given a red card by referee Thabani Bhamala under controversial circumstances.
The win took Bulawayo City to 30 points which moved them from tenth spot to number seven and the win came after players boycotted training some time last week over unpaid salaries.
Bulawayo City stand in coach Try Ncube felt that the visitors had more of an advantage over them because of the height of their players. On the failure by the strikers to bury opportunities, Ncube is convinced that to correct they have to work on the combination upfront.
“It was a very tough, I think Mutare is a good side, they troubled us with their physicality and their height. We managed to get the goal that made the difference, the plan was to play down the ball so that we are not disadvantaged by the height, at the end of the day we are happy with the performance although sometimes luck was on our side,’’ said Ncube.
Moyo believes that he let down the team being sent off seeing that the coach has to change for the next game. He conceded that he was not touched when he went down in the box but felt that the first yellow card should have been a free kick in his favour. He vowed to come back with more vigour after serving his suspension.
Taku Shariwa, the Mutare City coach’s view was that they gave the home team too much room in the first half but managed to control proceedings in the second period.
“In the first half, we gave them too much space and room in the box and fortunately for them towards the climax of the first stanza, we left the striker unattended to, we allowed him to turn inside the box, its one of those silly blunders because you are supposed to track man to man mark, then in the second half we controlled everything but unfortunately we couldn’t score,’’ said Shariwa.
Mutare City were the first to have a go at goal with seven minutes played, Collen Muzavazi almost catching goalkeeper Ndodana Sibanda napping on the far post but the veteran keeper did well to push the ball out for a corner.
In the 24th minute Emmanuel Mandiranga had his header blocked on the line after Philip Nhete in goals for the visitors had spilled a cross from Xolisani Moyo. Mkhululi Moyo scored the solitary goal a minute into the referee’s optional time when he was put through by Trevor Ndlovu inside the box.
Welcome Ndiweni wasted an opportunity to extend Bulawayo City’s lead in the 61st minute when he failed to connect with a cross sent in from the right side by Mandiranga.
Mutare City piled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes in search for the equalising goal. They almost got the goal nine minutes before the end, Agrippa Murimba’s effort spilled by Sibanda with the rebound hitting the post but Bulawayo City managed to clear and hold on for the victory.
Bulawayo City: Ndodana Sibanda, Terence Majo, Morris Kadzola (Mukumbi 84 mins), Brighton Dube, Zibusiso Sibanda, Kelvin Madzongwe, Trevor Ndlovu, Xolisani Moyo, Welcome Ndiweni (Dube 73 mins), Emmanuel Mandiranga (Maphosa 80 mins), Mkhululi Moyo.
Mutare City Rovers: Philip Nhete, Vimbai Madamombe, Benevolio Mukwena, Munyaradzi Sako, Emmanuel Sinaputa, Saprine Muchabaya (Sithole 55 mins, Collen Muzavazi, Chasten Ngondonga, Fredreck Muza, Caleb Masocha (Sibanda 64 mins), Agrippa Murimba.