Tadious Manyepo, Harare Bureau
Black Rhinos 7-0 Mutare City
RAMPANT Black Rhinos turned on a dominant display, rarely witnessed in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League these days when they put hapless Mutare City to the sword in a one-sided affair at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Allan Gahadzikwa scored a brace while Tafadzwa Jaravani, Wellington Taderera, Masimba Mambare as well as substitutes Lot Chiunga and McDonald Makuwe scored one each as the soldiers condemned the visitors deeper into relegation.
Jaravani opened the onslaught in the 12th minute, tapping in a low Mambare cross. Taderera doubled the hosts’ advantage with a volleyed howitzer from inside the box 21 minutes later while Gahadzikwa headed home on the stroke of half-time after Mutare City defenders failed to clear their lines following a well-taken corner by Mambare, who engineered most of the goals for Rhinos.
Rhinos came back from the break even more determined and they took just 10 minutes to score their fourth, Gahadzikwa sliding home after Mutare City goalkeeper Alfred Chiname spilled a harmless-looking cross from Jaravani.
Thirteen minutes later, it was the team’s top goal scorer Chiunga’s turn to register his name on the scoresheet, heading home a Mambare delivery and the two combined some seconds later for the latter’s goal.
Then Makuwe, who joined from Shabanie Mine during the mid-season break hit the final nail into Mutare City’s coffin with a top-drawer diving header from a curling Mambare cross.
So dominant were Herbert Maruwa’s men that they restricted the visitors to record just a single shot on target, a lame under-pressure effort from Evans Chikwaikwai towards the end of the tie.
Having recorded two big wins in their previous three encounters, against Ngezi Platinum and Highlanders, Mutare City just failed to pitch up for yesterday’s match in which everything seemed to be cut out for Black Rhinos.
The soldiers moved to eighth after the victory as they took their points tally to 37.
They leapfrogged both ZPC Kariba and Herentals after the big win while Mutare City remained in the drop zone on 16th with 21 points, with eight games to play before the season comes to a close.
Maruwa was elated after seeing his charges tear apart Mutare City but stressed the need for his team to keep focused.
“I am very happy after this demolishing win we recorded. Everything went according to plan, we implemented what we had planned well,” said Maruwa.
“But, the margin will not flatter us, we know it was just a matter of converting most of the chances which came our way, we need to keep focused.
“We should push for a top-four finish,”
A soul-searching Ndega Matsika was literally lost for words. He thought his team lost it when they conceded an early goal.
“I think we lost it when we conceded early in the game. From then, we were at sixes and sevens,” said Matsika.
“We are still hopeful of our survival chances. There are still a plenty of chances before the season ends,”
Black Rhinos: A Reyners, M Mambare (T Sibanda 80th min) , M Mekiwa (L Chiwunga 57th min), B Homora, S Jimu, F Banda, W Kapinda, T Jaravani, A Gahadzikwa (M Makuwe 62nd min) , W Taderera, D Mudadi
Mutare City: A Chiname, P Gumbo, L Mangaira, K Bingala (C Muzawazi 74th min), J Takunda, K Njovo, J Chitavira, B Vheremu, V Tadzoka (E Chikwaikwai 49th min), B Chinhoyi (M Moyo 57th min) min), T Kabanda