SUBSTITUTE Denzel Chimwemwe struck three minutes from time to cancel Takunda Sadiki’s first half volley as Harare City and Mutare City settled for a share of the spoils in a drab Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match on a bumpy Vengere pitch in Rusape yesterday.
Up until Chimwemwe, a half-time replacement to William Manondo capitalised on some sloppy marking from the hosts’ defence, Mutare City looked to be cruising to their first win of the season as they dominated possession and created a string of scoring chances.
Sadiki had volleyed a howitzer in the seventh minute to propel Mutare City into the lead.
Harare City coach Mark Harrison was happy with the point but bemoaned the state of the Vengere pitch.
“This is the worst game of football I have seen in my life. It’s wrong to be playing football on this pitch. It is unfit for soccer. It’s sad that you prepare the whole week to play football and you cannot do it because of the pitch.
“It’s an absolute shocker. Both Mutare City and our team could not pass the ball because of the ground.
“But I am happy with the point away from home, we are still unbeaten, but it would have been better to play football and lose than the other way round. I am happy though.
“We failed to create meaningful chances but we should have buried the few we created, “ Harrison said.
While Harare City extended their unbeaten run and took their point tally to six, it was Mutare City’s first point of the season after they lost their opening three matches on the bounce.
The team’s elated gaffer Joseph Takaringofa rubbished Harison’s sentiments on the state of the pitch and praised his charges for the draw.
“The pitch is not that bad. That’s what we have in the country. We are actually happy that Vengere has been cleared to host matches because we cannot play our home games in Harare. So there is nothing wrong with our ground.
“I am happy with the point and we should have buried them had we been clinical in front of goal.
“But I am happy because we are able to create those chances. I think what is lacking is confidence and experience but I am hopeful we will be able to convert those chances as we go.
“We should also work on our defence because we are always conceding after some defensive errors. Hopefully, we will correct those mistakes,” Takaringofa said.
Mutare City: T. Dube, P. Gumbo, K. Njovo, T. Ndhlovu, G. Jimu, J. Takunda, K. Bingala(W. Mafa 78th min) , D. Mangesi, T. Sadiki (M. Moyo 68th min) , E. Chikwaikwai, H. Muzhara (C. Mapoka).
Harare City: M. Nyamupanedengu, R. Uchena, T. Chimwemwe, B. Chayambuka, M. Diro-Nyenye, T. Samanja, M. Muchenje, W. Manondo (D. Chimwemwe, 45th min), K. Musharu, P. Kabwe, M. Vengesai (W. Muvirimi ,73rd min)