By Lovemore Chazingwa (Chikangwe Stadium, Karoi)
Karoi United FC striker John Rwodzi grabbed the opener 5 minutes into the match after visiting Golden Valley defence failed to take care of a left flank cross into their penalty area.
Substitute Tanaka Matenga added another 10 minutes from time to help their side sail 2-0 over Kadoma based Golden Valley FC in an eventful Northern Region Soccer League D1 match here in the afternoon.
A cross from the left was missed by Blessing Magaya on the edge of the penalty area and found John Rwodzi who placed a far low cross into the net for the account opener.
Host team’s Bernard Apureni got injured between the legs and stayed on the pitch for length of his treatment chewing up match-time.
Levison Tembo missed a fine cross from the left flank which was earned by Joseph Munyukuwa in the penalty area for a goalkick. . Obey Dzonya directed his header on target but was weak, posing no threat to homeside goalminder Blessed Chambati.
Golden Valley attacker Innocent Chiwaridzo released an intelligent rebound to goal which was defleted for a corner kick.
Denford Chirwa for Golden Valley delivered a shot on target, proceeding Tembo cross to goal met an alert Karoi United defender, Mike Tsongora who cleared but, only as far as Brian Mudenha who responded with a ferrocious shot that hit a defender to United safety.
For United, Rufaro Beremauro embarked on a solo run on the left flank resulting in his effort toward goal cleared for a corner.
Munyukuwa weak shot on target was coolly saved by the giant home keeper, Chambati. . Tsongora received the first yellow of the match from referee Hardwork Terrence Mharira for rough play. .
Heavily built Munyakuwa received a good supply from midfield which he tactically controlled in penalty area, rounded a close defender spotted his mark and unleashed a grounder only for an alert Chambati to unpack a top drawer save, much to the applause of homeside fans.
Golden Valley forays into Karoi United half were concentrated on the right wing where Tembo was operating from. . The Karoi City Council sponsored side first goal scorer came back with a bang, unleashing a powerful high cross to vex Simbanegavi as it threatened to push him into the nets.
He did well to save it right on the line. The visitor returned into the second stanza with a double substitution in the 50th minute bringing in Tafadzwa Chigora and Kudakwashe Mtaonga in place of Innocent ‘Sadza’ Chiwaridzo and Elvis Musona.
United move between Danisia Siabeza and Blessing Magaya was well calculated, however thwarted for a corner. That corner kick was wasted. . Valley head coach Kifton Kadulira quickly introduced Garikai resting Dzonya arguably, to add teeth to his arsenal.
Dimunitive but, lethal Tembo’s well executed cross to Mtaonga was met with a header which was saved by Chambati. . Host side introduced Tanaka Matenga instead of John Rwodzi, who was showing signs of wearing out.
Tembo executed a tricky header over United goalkeeper but, a reciprocal header by Mudenha went over the cross-bar.
Defender Innocent Mavhirizhi missdirected his ball for a corner under pressure 15 minutes from time. Captain Tafadxwa ‘Mahobho’ Moyo headed the resultant kick to space.
With 10 minutes remaining United striker Matenga and Valley goalie Simbanegavi clashed for a cross into the goldminers goal area, causing a swell to the goalman above his right eye.
Matenga escaped unscathed Simbanegavi could not continue play. Since Kadulira had used all his substitues, Tembo was relocated to guard goal. . Before Tembo could find feet in goals, substitute Matenga came to haunt him with a headed goal in the 79th minute, off an inviting off sure foot.
Bernard conceded a yellow card for hacking down Munyukuwa who had outsmarted him and was charging for goal.
On the other end, onfield player-cum-goalie, Tembo saved a dangerous looking ball which he first spilled and followed up with a forward dive, much to the cheer of the small crowd in the dilapidated ground. . Karoi United head coach Ali Kazembe trusted a fresh pair of legs in Ignatious for Danisia.
Levi cleared a ball from outside the penalty area that had beaten all his defenders, with a striker lurking around to utilize any slip-up.
The last shot on target from Karoi based outfit was saved by the stand-in goalkeeper. . “We got them into the game with that first goal. It’s the match officiating standards that keep worrying us. That ref’s decisions were questionable.
“He did not protect our players resulting in that injury to our first choice keeper,” said the soft spoken gaffer post-match.