BY HENRY MHARA IN RUSAPE
HARARE City maintained their unbeaten run in the 2018 edition of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, thanks to a late Denzel Chimwemwe equaliser to deny Mutare City their first victory of the season, in an engrossing contest at Vengere Stadium in Rusape yesterday.
Former Dynamos midfielder, Takunda Sadiki had given the home side the lead after eight minutes with a stunning goal, connecting the ball first time with a dipping strike from outside the box.
However, half-time substitute Chimwemwe, who replaced William Manondo, ensured a share of spoils with three minutes remaining in the match.
Harare City coach Mark Harisson condemned the state of the playing surface, describing it as the worst he had seen.
“That was the worst game of football match I have seen in my entire life. That pitch is not fit to host a football game. We didn’t pass the ball, they didn’t pass the ball. We were not capable of passing the ball in this pitch,” he said.
“The whole 90 minutes was just depressing. We trained all week to play, but when we came here, we could not play. We might as well have sat for six days, it’s terrible.”
Mutare City coach Joseph Takaringofa, however, said the Englishman should stop being a cry baby, and adapt to the “Zimbabwe conditions”.
“It’s not that bad, we played 11 versus 11 on the same pitch. This was also our first time using this pitch. He (Harrison) should be ready to face such situations here,” the Eastern club gaffer said.
Both teams created chances in the first half, with hosts’ goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube the busier of the two, clearing from the line on two occasions.
The visitors were presented with a golden opportunity to equalise early in the second half, when Dube conceded an indirect free kick inside the six yard box.
Takaringofa’s men built a wall on the goal line, and managed to repel the danger.
But by that time, Mutare City could have wrapped up the contest.
Their stocky centre striker Honest Muzhara twice ran clear at goal, but fluffed the chances on both occasions.
They looked to have the points in the bag, with the clock ticking towards full-time before Chimwemwe intervened, firing home through a crowded box.