HARARE City were left to rue yet another missed opportunity after they squandered many chances that came their way to draw against a resilient Mutare City in a league match at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
by Garish Phiri
The Sunshine Boys were actually lucky to grab a point, and needed a stoppage time equaliser from Wilfred Muvirimi who cancelled a Vialli Tadzoka’s 80th minute strike.
As expected, the home side enjoyed much ball possession and created the better chances with Ishmael Wadi outstanding, but they couldn’t just find the back of the net.
To their credit, the bottom-placed visitors started the match brightly, and had good exchanges in the opening 10 minutes where Hussen Zvakavapano tested Harare City goalkeeper Ryan Harrison who managed to deal with the danger.
After that, they sat back and set a trap by allowing their more fancied opponents to come at them. Harare City appeared to fall for it when they threw bodies upfront, leaving gaps at the back and were punished ruthlessly.
A quick counter attack, after a turnover of possession, saw Tadzoka finding the back of the net, his shot going beyond Harrison’s reach. The home side looked for the equaliser, and it looked like they would get their first defeat in six matches before substitute Muvirimi intervened to snatch a point.
A cross from the roving rightback Takudzwa Chimwemwe was well chest-controlled by the youthful striker before blasting past Mutare City goalkeeper Alfred Chiname.
The draw was their fourth in a row, and they haven’t won a match since the mid-season break.
The trend of results has left coach Mark Harrison disappointed. He again bemoaned his team’s potency in front of goal, but he is hopeful that they would come right soon.
“Today we were mugged. I don’t know what we have to do, (because) we created so many chances. We hit everything, but the net. The goalkeeper stopped shots, we hit people on the goal line, we hit the cross bar two or three times and we missed the target,” Harrison said.
“They had a couple of efforts in the first 10 minutes which Ryan (Harrison) made saves and then they just mugged us on the counter attack. We’ve got to do better than that at the back, we’ve got to do better in the front of goal. At least we are creating, if we weren’t creating then I would have a problem. We are creating many chances, we just have to start putting the ball into the net. Somebody is going to take a hiding from us soon, somebody is going to take six from us one day, but it wasn’t today.”
Mutare City Rovers coach Ndega Matsika whose side is bottom of the log still believes they will survive relegation.
The point they gained yesterday was their first in six games.
“There was lack of concentration from my back four which made Harare City to come back into the game. We could have collected maximum points, but in a game of football it’s either you win, lose or draw, but it’s painful to draw like this. Mathematically, we still have a chance of surviving relegation. We need to collect maximum points, collect each game as it comes then we see how it gets” he said.