Herentals keep top four dream alive

Harare Bureau

Herentals College 1-0 Byo Chiefs

HERENTALS kept their top four dream alive after edging a depleted Bulawayo Chiefs in a Castle Lager Premiership match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

The Students took an early lead through Milton Chimedza, in the fourth minute, and that was enough to earn them maximum points and move into fifth place on the log standings, going into the last round of matches.

Their coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva was ecstatic, especially after completing a double over their nemesis, who denied them a dream Chibuku Super Cup title in last year’s final.

“We are excited. It always feels good to win against a good side like Bulawayo Chiefs, who have always given us problems,” said Mutiwekuziva.

“So, taking maximum points today is sweet and good for us and what is even more important is that we have managed to complete a double.

“We won (2-1) in Bulawayo and today we also won, which gives us six points against them.

“It feels good. They beat us in the final of the Chibuku Super Cup last year.

“So the boys performed very well considering we were coming from a defeat against Highlanders at Barbourfields where we did not defend very well after taking the lead and then allowed them to equalise and snatch the winner.

“But today we corrected our mistakes and kept a clean sheet, which gives us confidence going forward,” said Mutiwekuziva.

The Students needed to recover from the 2-1 defeat at Highlanders last week to be able to finish the campaign strongly.

Chimedza gave them a good head start yesterday. The lanky forward received the ball from Davison Marowa and, with his back to goal, managed to wriggle his way past his markers in the box, to create shooting space, before placing a grounder to the far right of diving goalkeeper Tinotenda Chinoviringa.

Chimedza could have doubled his tally in the 37th minute after Amakhosi Amahle had failed to clear their lines from a corner kick. Chiefs goalkeeper Chinoviringa, who was given the nod following the injury to first choice Khulekani Dube, put his body on the line to deny the hosts an insurance goal in the first-half.

Herentals came close soon after the restart from a free-kick by skipper Tino Benza, which bounced off the cross bar and sailed over. Chiefs, who were missing key players like Mthokozisi Msebe, Ben Nyahunzvi, Kim Joe Sibanda and Obriel Chirinda, did not offer much yesterday.

The Ninjas went into the match with so much relief as they did not need to worry about relegation anymore as results from Saturday’s matches involving the relegation candidates went in their favour.

Their 39 points guaranteed them survival even if they were to lose their last two games.

Chiefs coach Johannes Nhumwa conceded defeat and is now looking forward to next season after his team survived the chop in the penultimate round.

“You cannot take away anything from the Herentals’ win. We slept in the first minutes of the game and they took that simple chance and that was the goal that made the difference.

“I think we were more organised when we came back but we could not get the goals.

“However, I was happy with the youngsters. I think I used four who didn’t even play a game the whole season. I was just preparing them for next season and you can see, there is so much potential,” said Nhumwa.


Herentals: T. Chikosi, P. Chota, W. Kapumha, K. Chitavire, E. Mhungu, Z. Ruguchu, B. Majarira, M. Chimedza, T. Benza, I. Benza (A. Majarira, 57th minute), D. Marowa (A. Maliselo, 72nd minute)

Bulawayo Chiefs: T. Chinoviringa, R. Muduviwa, P Shoko, M. Hativagone, T. Mudzengerere (D. Katsande, 46th minute), D. Phiri (S. Murove, 75th minute), M. Gasela, F. Moyo, N. Gama (F. Miguel, 66th minute), F. Matare. B. Veremu.

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