THIS was probably Harare City’s worst performance in the season so far, but they did just enough to beat Bulawayo City at Rufaro Stadium yesterday in this Chibuku Super Cup first round match, with William “Chibuku” Manondo grabbing yet another goal in this competition.
BY HENRY MHARA
Manondo tapped home from close range after beating goalkeeper Kelvin Nyoni to a Wilfred Muvirimi’s pass after 26 minutes following a mistake by Tatenda Tavengwa.
Harare City coach Mark Harrison (pictured) made a whosesale change to the team that beat Dynamos at the weekend, fielding seven under 21 players.
The youngsters failed to impose themselves throughout the match, and while Harrison was happy with the win, that saw his side progressing to the quarterfinals where they are seeking a record third success in the competition, he was not really pleased with the team’s overall performance against a division one bound Bulawayo City side.
“We won the match, its a cup competition and that’s what matters at the end of the day. We were playing against a team which today that’s all that they had to play for. They are going to the first division so they came today to say let’s have a go, and they did. They played well, but we got the result. We experimented today, made a lot of changes we had seven under 21 players starting and it showed. They were inexperienced, and lacked composure but that’s fine because it was an experimental line up It was a good exposure for the players. So I’m happy with the result, not the performance. But at the end of the day we are in the quarter-finals, can we go and win it. If we do, great, if we don’t, there is not much I can do about that,” Harrison said.
Bulawayo City coach Bekithemba Ndlovu was distraught at the final whistle having watched his side dominating the match for long phases but not doing enough to trouble goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu.
“I’m disappointed with the defeat because we wanted to go all the way to the final. Disappointed with the result but happy with the performance of the boys who performed very well. In the first half we create three or four chances which we should have scored. We made a stupid blunder and Harare City scored but good effort and good spirit by the boys,” Ndlovu said.
City, the most successful team in the competition with two titles was forced to make some changes to their team due to injuries to some of their regulars including Ishamel Wadi, Moses Muchenje and goalkeeper Ryan Harrison.
Without Muchenje in particular, their midfield lacked balance and struggled to play their usual free flowing football.
The visitors could have taken the lead on 24th minute when Toto Banda ran clear but dragged his shot wide.
They would be made to rue the chance when Manondo caught Tavengwa on possession to feed Muvirimi who returned the ball for Chibuku to turn it home.
Ndlovu’s side searched for an equaliser which could have forced the match to a penalty shootout.