ZPC Kariba . . . . . . . . (0) 1
Bulawayo Chiefs . . . . . . 0
ZPC Kariba midfielder Kudzanai Dhemere scored an incredible counter-attack goal to help his team overcome Bulawayo Chiefs at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The two teams were looking for their first wins of the season after they both drew their opening matches last week and it was the former Dynamos star who settled this one with a fine breakaway goal on the 65th minute.
From a Bulawayo Chiefs corner kick, the ball was cleared on to Tino Chiunye just outside the penalty box and the winger showed a brilliant presence of mind to thread a pass to Dhemere who had suddenly broken off.
He raced half the length of the ground, past his markers before tucking away the shot past the helpless goalkeeper Ali Issah.
The goal was a huge relief for the Darlington Dodo-coached side who had earlier missed a penalty through Moses Demera just a minute into the second half.
Dodo said he was happy with how his team responded in the second half after they were simply overrun by the Bulawayo side in the first stanza.
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“It was a question of us losing possession of the ball unnecessarily in critical areas in the first half," Dodo said. "We were also not very compact in midfield, so that is where we sorted out in terms of player deployment because we were giving them a lot of space. They were adding numbers in midfield trying to overrun us in that area, so we realised that and came up with a better strategy in the second half. We did not really open up the game, but when we were in possession of the ball we released the wide players for counter-attacks and it paid off because they were leaving a lot of spaces in the wide areas."
Yesterday’s victory took ZPC Kariba to seventh place on the log standings with four points.
Chiefs were left to rue a glut of wasted chances that came their way throughout the match.
Substitute Last Jesi alone, who played only the last 20 minutes of the match, had at least five good chances to score, but the deadlocked attacker, just like his teammates, was wasteful.
Coach Lizwe Sweswe, whose side was denied what appeared to be a genuine penalty in the second half, refused to blame any of his players for the loss.
“The boys played very well serve for that mistake on transition, but it's still work in progress,” Sweswe said.
When asked if he was frustrated by how his players missed chances, he said: "No, remember this is only the second game of the season for us. There are a lot of things to work on especially in terms of the conversion rate."
Chiefs are on 12th position with a point.