THERE is a new team in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League race: How Mine.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
HOW MINE . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
BUFFALOES . . . . . . . . . . . 0
A first half gem of a goal by Timothy January ensured maximum points for the gold miners and with it third place as they edged struggling Buffaloes in a lifeless Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Luveve Stadium yesterday.
The gold miners dislodged Dynamos from the third spot on the log standings following the win, but coach Luke Masomere still says How Mine are not targeting the championship this year.
Chicken Inn are on top with 30, Triangle second with 29, the same as How Mine, while Dynamos, after their draw against Hwange yesterday, dropped to 28 and fourth place.
A good build-up initiated by defensive link man Menard Mupera from the centre found an in-form overlapping Tapiwa Kumbuyani on the right and the defender let in a wonderful cross which January blasted first time from close range past Buffaloes goalkeeper Chengetai Tandadzayi.
Masomere was not happy with his boys’ display despite the narrow victory.
“In terms of collecting positive results, we are okay, but we did not play well. We are now within reach of the leading pack, while we are just playing for fun and enjoying the game. We are building a team to compete next year. We are not playing for the championship. Our aim is not to win the league, but if we are presented with the opportunity, there is nothing we can do,” the self-professed doctor of football said after the match.
Buffaloes coach Saul Chaminuka believed things would come right for the Mutare-based side who have collected just a point in the last nine outings.
They dropped to 12th on the log table with 16 points from 16 games.
“We played well in terms of what we have been doing at training, but we failed on finishing. We are trying our best and very soon, we will get it right. We need to score goals,” Chaminuka said.
Buffaloes started off well in the first five minutes, but the central defence of Joseph Jambo and Philip Chandisaita was a bit jittery, failing to contain the crosses coming from Kumbuyani on the right.
Five minutes after January’s goal, they could have replied, but were denied by a good save by How Mine goalkeeper Donovan Bernard after a George Mukahanana curler from a set-piece on the right.
A crafty piece of work by Philip Thembani in the 67th minute saw him dazzle past How Mine left back Moses Gutu but his effort was once again punched away for a corner by the ever alert Bernard.
Four minutes before the final whistle, Mukahanana was denied another chance by Warriors goalkeeper Bernard, who had a good day in office.
HOW MINE: D Bernard, T Kumbuyani, M Gutu, M Mupera, B Marere (H Masuku 80’), G Banda, M Sibanda (G Nguwodzawo 69’), N Tachi, K Musharu, T Masuku, T January (N Ndale 90+’)
BUFFALOES: C Tandadzayi, K Mwaramba, G Mukahanana, P Chandisaita, J Jambo, J Takunda, S Nkata, R Mwenga (V Makaha 57’), J Muzokomba, B Mushunje, P Thembani