THE first ever Gweru derby in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League ended in a stalemate as WhaWha and Chapungu played a goalless draw at Ascot Stadium yesterday.
BY SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
WHAHWA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
CHAPUNGU . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
The match was the first derby that Gweru has witnessed since the formation of the Premier Soccer League in 1993 and the only time that Ascot Stadium had hosted such a match was in the early 1980s during the BAT Super League when Gweru United and Bata Power were in the top-flight league.
The build-up to the match was filled with optimism with the top hierarchy from both sides of the uniformed forces team attending.
Prisons and Correctional Services Deputy Commissioner-General Rhodes Moyo drove all the way from Harare to rally his team while Airforce Base Commander Group Captain George Ngundu also came to give support to Chapungu.
On the field of play, it was WhaWha who looked threatening, thriving on the wings where Roy Useni and Kudzayi Saunyama were allowed lots of space.
Chapungu, on the other hand, were soaking pressure from their opponents, waiting to catch them on counter attacks using the pace of Tineyi Chitora and Nhlanhla Ncube.
With action swinging from one end to the other without many goal-scoring opportunities in the final third, the tempo slowed down as both teams congested the midfield.
The match opened up a little bit in the second half with Chapungu coach John Nyikadzino bringing in a more offensive Ngoni Murisa for an ultra-defensive Moenda Machangani.
Chapungu began playing with flair, but it was it WhaWha who had more attempts at goal.
Useni came close in the 58th minute, but his header off a Saunyama cross missed the upright narrowly.
Useni brought the best out of Chapungu goalie Roy Mazingi with a long-range effort which Mazingi chipped over the bar.
Allan Tavarwisa nearly stole the lead for Chapungu after working his past WhaWha defenders before unleashing a shot from an acute angle which was punched back into play Stanley Chakwana.