Nkosilathi Sibanda in Bulawayo
Bulawayo Chiefs . . . . . . . . .(2)3
Mutare City . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
BULAWAYO Chiefs captain Gracious Muleya made it a momentous win for his side when he netted a brace as they came from behind to beat Mutare City in a five-goal Castle Lager Premiership thriller at Luveve yesterday. Mutare City blew it all by their lack of tact in defending the home side’s attacks and failing to hold on to at least a draw.
Jeffrey Takunda of Mutare City was the first to register his name on the scoresheet in the fifth minute after capitalising on a defensive blunder pitting Chiefs’ defenders Andrew Tandi and Shadreck Nyahwa.
At that stage, the visiting team went on mute and gave away passes that boosted Chiefs’ possession and control on the wings.
Chiefs equalised in the 24th minute through Farai Matare after Mutare City defenders were slow to react to a rebound off the crossbar.
True to good form, Muleya three minutes later struck home, giving the home team the lead before the break.
When Chiefs thought they were comfortable with their narrow lead in the second stanza, Hussen Zvakavapano broke into the attacking third and scored a beauty in the 55th minute for Mutare City.
The joy though was short-lived, as a minute later when Muleya skilfully beat Mutare City goalkeeper Alfred Chiname.
The Chiefs captain poached victory in the 58 minutes. From that moment, Mutare City seemingly gave up and Chiefs saw out the game.
Chiefs’ coach Garthly Chipuka said his charges played according to instruction, but admitted that the team started the game on a low note.
“We started badly and that is why the visitors scored an easy goal. I would not want to put unnecessary pressure on my defenders because they are the best that we have. I am glad the boys responded well and we got maximum points. We play better against big teams, so it is a matter of attitude. We are lucky to grab the win,” said Chipuka.
Mutare City goalkeepers’ coach Ndega Matsika blamed the loss on lack of concentration from his defenders.