VETERAN goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo produced a man-of- the-match performance yesterday but his side Manica Diamonds blew a two-goal lead to settle for a share of the spoils with hosts Triangle in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Gibbo.
Both teams’ technical benches were on several times not happy with referee Kuzivakwamwari Jaravaza’s decisions as he failed to control what looked like a local derby.
Manica Diamonds are using Gibbo as their home at the moment after Sakubva was deemed unfit to host top-flight games.
The Gems raced into the lead after 48 minutes through Tendai Mukono before extending their lead in the 72nd minute via Ishmael Lawe. Triangle, however, refused to be cowed into submission and scored two quick goals through substitute Timothy January and Ralph Kawondera inside two minutes. Manica Diamonds coach Luke Masomere, who will travel to Gibbo next week for his third consecutive game at the same venue, was disappointed by his side’s blundering late on but also took some positives from the game.
“I think we played very well, it was a good game of football. We won here last week (against Harare City) but today I think we played better. We gave them two silly goals, we had no stability in defence after Nelson Tachi went out injured and we were punished.
“Triangle played well, it was a balanced affair, we shared the spoils and I will be happy with a point,” said Masomere.
Triangle came in to the game a more organised side in the first half and could have easily taken the lead in the opening 20 minutes but they were denied by the impressive Muchambo heroics.
Their coach Taurai Mangwiro, who celebrated his 49th birthday yesterday was forced to make a first half substitution when veteran midfielder Russel Madamombe was forced off the pitch and immediately rushed to hospital after colliding with Carlton Munzabwa in the 37th minute.
January who was brought in for the injured player made an immediate impact and could have broken the deadlock with two minutes before the breather but Muchambo made another stunning save to ensure parity at the break.Mangwiro was happy with his side’s response after going 2-0 down to come back and bag a point but obviously a full set of points was going to be a perfect birthday present for the coach.
“I needed more than a point but in the end we are all happy because it’s a precious point that we have rescued against a determined Manica side. “We had to dig deep for it and in the end it’s a decent birthday present because it could have been worse,” Mangwiro said.