Grace Chingoma, Harare Bureau
Yadah Stars 1-0 ZPC Kariba
IT needed a “Miracle Goal” to make all the difference at the National Sports Stadium yesterday to power exciting newboys, Yadah Stars, to the top of the Castle Lager Premiership table as they continued their fairy-tale start to life among the big boys.
The club is owned by Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya, who is also its technical advisor, and new coach Jairos Tapera has repeatedly said they are powered by the anointing from their spiritual leader.
Yadah Stars stunned the country when they won the Zifa Eastern Region Division One League, in their first season in the championship race, after Magaya — who is a football-mad prophet — formed his own club.
And, during pre-season, he has been saying his men can win the league championship this year, which many analysts doubt given the pedigree of the opposition they will face in the top-flight league.
The last time a club coming straight from Division One won the league championship in this country was in 1984 when Black Rhinos ended Dynamos’ four-year dominance of the scene.
And Magaya believes his men can do it this year.
Yadah defender, Jimmy Dzingai, scored the all-important goal in the 45th minute when he met a corner from Wellington Kamudyariwa only for his effort to be cleared by a ZPC Kariba player after it had already crossed the line.
With many wondering how it went in, assistant referee Astma Mataya confidently advised referee Nomore Musundire that midfielder Talent Chamboko had cleared the lines after the ball had already gone in.
And, what was dubbed the “Miracle Goal” by those who were at the giant stadium yesterday, stood.
The victory set up a good start for the newcomers as they have now collected four points in two matches following a goalless draw against Harare City, in a match they dominated and should have won, last week.
However, the goal did not go down well with the opposition goalkeepers’ coach Brenna Msiska whose protests earned him an ejection from the bench after he hurled a volley of insults on the match officials.
Yadah coach, Tapera hailed his team for a good show.
“I think it’s a very important win. A win we got after playing a seasoned team and a seasoned coach. We gave them little space to operate and we were organised in defence compared to our last game.
“It is unfortunate that we got one goal, we could have scored even two and I am happy with the way the players are responding to the coaching methods.
“I would like to thank our Prophet. He has been very supportive,” said Tapera.
The coach was probably charmed with the way the duo of Leeroy Mavhunga, who once again turned on a good show, and Leeroy Murape -who came in the second half – went about their duties.
Murape is the younger brother of former Dynamos forward and assistant coach, Murape Murape.
The duo provided a strong wing play which, however, was not complimented upfront by their fellow forwards.
Mavhunga is a former Marlborough High captain who has been earning rave reviews and justified his growing legend yesterday with another excellent performance.
He kept making a mockery of his markers with his dribbling skills.
“Lee is just a young player, only 18 and is doing his best and he should just keep his feet on the ground,’’ said Tapera.
“If he continues like this, the future is bright for him.”
ZPC Kariba , Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa, who got off to a winning start last week with a win against How Mine, said they played badly.
“I think overall we played badly, never controlled the game and as a result we failed to convert some of the chances that we got.
“It happens in football. Sometimes you play well and sometimes badly,” he said.
Big forward Francesco Zekumbawire failed to convert two good chances, including one after he had rounded goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube, while Raphael Manuvire’s long range effort just sailed over the bar.
“If a team fails to control the game, the midfield especially, where we were giving the ball cheaply, the result is a loss,” said Chidzambwa.
The veteran coach, who is the country’s most successful football gaffer, refused to comment on the goal.
“I am not a referee. I can’t speak for them. They said it was a goal,” he said.
Yadah: T Dube, A Makopa, B Chikwenya, J Dzingai, R Dongo, B Mapfumo, W Kamudyariwa, D Svanhu (M Ncube 80th minute), L Mavhunga, M Musiyakuvi (L Murape 57th min), J Sibanda (M Meleka 65th min)
ZPC Kariba: T Hove, T Munyanduri, M Kunyarimwe, A Sylvester, A Chiveya, T Mamvura (T Nyamandwe 54th min) D Chakupe (T Mugoniwa 76th min), T Chamboko, T Mandizadza (N Tigere 46th min), R Manuvire, F Zekumbawire