Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
ZIFA Southern Region Division One title favourites, Talen Vision opened their 2018 campaign on a good note as they beat Zim Leopards 2-0 in match played at Gifford High School yesterday.
A brace for Nigerian striker, Ossy Miniru Monday secured the game for Talen Vision in a tightly contested match where they struggled to break down the visitors.
The sides played an evenly balanced first half with both teams creating opportunities but none could convert them.
Talen Vision came back more eager for goal but Zim Leopards defenders, led by former Highlanders centre back, Benson Phiri thwarted the home team’s raids.
Just as fans thought the game was likely to end in a stalemate, Talen Vision won a free kick, three metres outside the penalty area.
Monday received the short pass on the left flank unmarked and took two steps forward before unleashing a shot that put them in the lead in the 73rd minute.
The 26-year-old Nigerian made it a brace in the 81st minute when he placed the ball in the far post after catching the Zim Leopards goalkeeper unawares.
Talen Vision coach, Miroslav Nemec said he was happy with the way his charges played although they were sluggish in the first half.
“We had a very long pre-season and I think that could have had an effect on our performance today. We didn’t play that well in the first half but the second half was superb and our players did very well to breakdown the opposition’s defence and score those goals,” he said, adding they are gunning for the championship to ensure promotion to the Premiership although they would be taking it step by step.
Zim Leopards coach, Tobias Mudyambanje said his charges performed well and an unfortunate lapse in concentration by the defence saw them concede.
“It is our first game of the season and we need to adapt to competitive games as we had been used to friendlies but they are totally different.
“We had our chances in the first half which we were supposed to utilise but unfortunately we didn’t and they punished us in the second half.
“For a first game I think our performance was decent and it is something we can build up on,” he said.