By Tadious Manyepo
Innocent Benza might be the top-flight’s oldest player, but his top-notch dead ball taking technique continues to illuminate the scene after his boot provided the assist to the goal that made the difference in his team’s win over ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The 46-year-old striker, who has for long been accused of being the weakest link in the Kumbirai Mutiwekuziwa-coached side, played a game of his life with some trickery which defied his age and aptly capped the performance with a perfectly executed outside-of-the-foot swerved free-kick which defender Blessing Maunganidze powerfully headed home nine minutes from the restart.
This ensured Herentals completed a double over the Kariba outfit whom they beat with an identical scoreline in the reverse fixture at Nyamhunga three months ago.
The result helped Herentals leapfrog four teams to ninth on the table with 25 points while their opponents remained 11th on 23 points after Match Day 20.
Mutiwekuziwa, whose charges have now collected six points in their last three matches, was delighted with the result.
“Looking from where we are coming from, a defeat to Highlanders in our last encounter, today I am very happy for having come back home, revised ourselves and play like we did,” said Mutiwekuziwa.
“ZPC Kariba is the team that I always think of as they are the first team we collected a full set of points against in our Premiership life after we beat them 1-0 in Kariba, courtesy of a Blessing Majarira goal.
“And today we beat them 1-0 again with another Blessing (Maunganidze) the scorer. I am happy that we have managed to complete a double over them especially looking at their current form where they are doing well.”
ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi conceded defeat and said his charges “failed to pitch up” for the match.
“We had a very disappointing performance this afternoon. We actually never came to the party at all. We were too slow off and on the ball. We couldn’t actually track our guys,” said Tamirepi.
Herentals: P. Tafiremutsa, B. Maunganidza, C. Mavhurume, B. Majarira, E. Mhungu (E. Dzirondiro 72nd min), G. Chinobva, T. Benza (S. Cheya 60th min), R. Hachiro, P. Chota, I. Benza (B. Majarira 84th min).
ZPC Kariba: T. Hove, P. Ghani (F. Zekumbawire 80th min), M. Kunyarimwe, I. Nekati, S. Appiah, T. Munyanduri, P. Tafirenyika (S. Gorogodyo 56th min), C. Muleya, G. Mangani (M. Demera 46th min), T. Nyamandwe, D. Temwanjira.
Herentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
ZPC Kariba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0