BANTU Rovers’ return to the top-flight league did not go according to plan as they were edged 0-1 by Black Rhinos in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer league match played at Luveve Stadium yesterday.
Brian Muzondiwa’s 18th minute strike was all visiting Rhinos needed to ensure they collected maximum points.
Rhinos coach Arthur Tutani was happy with the result.
“It was a good game. Bantu Rovers have a beautiful side, but Rhinos collected the three points,” he said.
“Our strikers were wasteful. We could have won by about four goals, but the most important thing is that we defended as a team.
“It is a bit too early to say what will happen in the league, but we will keep collecting maximum points.”
Methembe Ndlovu who took over as head coach when the team merged with Plumtree Chiefs said Rhinos coach Tutani had a better game plan.
“I thought we played well even though our players did not connect well.
“We were outplayed in the second half and we could not find the solution.
“We had no shots on target in the second half,” he said.
“We were out-coached by Tutani. We controlled the match in the first half, but they took control in the second half.
“It is a disappointing result. It is difficult to get a point on the first day, but I do not think it will determine our performance throughout. The young players did okay.”
Bantu Rovers started the match well controlling the game in the first half, but played second fiddle after the break.
Proud Zireni and Zephian Ngodzo who played central defence, had a tough time trying to contain the Rhinos players.
Eighteen minutes into the match Muzondiwa won the tussle for ball possession against Zireni and tapped in a soft ball which beat goalkeeper Takunda Mutanga.
Bantu captain Nqobizitha Masuku had the opportunity to level the scores in the 27th minute, but his shot off a Lawson Nkomo pass was safely collected by goalkeeper Jonathan Zvaita.
Try as they may, Bantu Rovers who had Obadiah Tarumbwa in the midfield, failed to find the net.
In the 68th minute Mutanga was left exposed when Lot Chiwunga latched on to a pass by his goalkeeper Zvaita with Zireni and Ngodzo trailing behind — he chose to dilly-dally with the ball, letting the Bantu side recover.