TRIANGLE - Sunday Chidzambwa’s return to the local game after a 16-year hiatus was spoiled by Triangle’s Hardlife Mavhundi’s solitary strike as his new side ZPC Kariba went down fighting in yesterday’s closely-contested Castle Lager Premiermiship match.
Chidzambwa exited the Premiership on September 5, 1999 following Dynamos’ two-nil defeat to Tunisia’s Esperance in an African Champions League match at the National Sports Stadium.
He went on to coach the Zimbabwe national team and was later banned for life for his involvement in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal but later bounced back when the ban was lifted last month.
He also had a stint in the South Africa Premiership league before ending his coaching stay in the South African National First Division in 2013.
Chidzambwa was appointed ZPC coach earlier this month but had not taken charge of any matches as the league was on a two-week break.
Yesterday, Mavhundi headed home a Praise Tonha corner kick in the 73rd minute to break a stubborn ZPC defence and reinforce Gibbo Stadium’s fortress status this season.
Chidzambwa was left to rue his charges’ first half misses after his side was clearly outclassed in the second period by the sleek passing of the Sugar Sugar Boys.
“As long as you created scoring chances you have a better chance of winning games, the problem comes when you don’t create opportunities. So by missing good chances in the first half it was not good at all,’’ Chidzambwa said in a post-match interview.
Kelvin Kaindu praised his team for bagging all three points attributing the win to the many chances his side created throughout the game.
“This is a hard-fought three points, our opponents defended well and I’m happy we created a lot of scoring opportunities but I think in the second half we raised our game and we scored the winning goal,’’ he said.
Mavhundi could have capped a brilliant afternoon with a double only to shoot wide with three minutes to play.
ZPC Kariba could have stunned the home side in the seventh minute only for Pride Tafirenyika to fire wide with Triangle’s goal-minder Ashely Reyners badly exposed.
Triangle’s first opportunity was to come in the 14th minute only for Felix “Mbesuma” Kuswatuka to connect a Pasca Manhanga cross onto the upright post.
In the 30th minute the Sugar Sugar Boys survived another scare when Reyners denied Tawanda Nyamandwe.
Five minutes from the breather Triangle came close to breaking the resolute visitors’ rear-guard only for Tafirenyika to head over to go to the break tied.
Triangle came back with greater potency but felt hard done when Bikita referee Makonese Masakadza waved away their penalty appeal after the visitors’ defender Appiah Sylvester handled a Lameck Nhamo cross in the 47th minute.
In the 54th minute Triangle again were narrowly denied with a Tonha volley being tipped over.
Triangle were, however, to make no mistake in the 73rd minute when Mavhundi connected a Tonha corner with a goal that would win his side all three points.Mhofu in losing start