BULAWAYO – The country’s leading goal scorer Tendai Ndoro was unable to add to his goal tally on his return to the Castle Premiership after failing to inspire Chicken Inn to victory over Harare City on Saturday at Luveve Stadium.
Ndoro, who is back at Chicken Inn on a loan deal from his new South African club Mpumalanga Black Aces, was in fact guilty of a glaring miss that could have secured maximum points for the Gamecocks in the final moments of the match that ended 1-1.
Nathan Ziwini was on target for the visitors in the first half while a second half goal by the hosts’ right back Moses Jackson ensured a share of the spoils.
The result saw Harare City into second place level on 41 points with leaders Dynamos while Chicken Inn remained in sixth position with 36 points.
Gamecocks head coach Mandla Lulu Mpofu described the result as two points lost rather than a point gained.
“For a team that is competing for the championship we lost two points today (yesterday).
“It is unfortunate that we failed to convert our chances especially the last minute chance from Ndoro but there is still 21 points to play for and we still believe that anything can happen in the last seven games,” Mpofu said.
Harare City settled first and went on to bombard the Chicken Inn goal but none of their efforts were on target.
The breakthrough came through on 20 minutes when Ziwini opened the scoring after finishing off a great move by Silas Songani.
Warriors’ midfielder Songani started the move on the right flank when he exchanged passes with his skipper Godfrey Nguwodzawo before delivering an intelligent pullback for an unmarked Ziwini to rifle past Chicken Inn keeper Njabulo Nyoni.
The Gamecocks came back from the breather a rejuvenated side and Jackson duly leveled matters seven minutes after the restart when he finished off a Clemence Matawu free kick that was headed onto his path by giant defender Charles Mutero.
Mutero vindicated himself with that assist as he had been the weak link for the Gamecocks in the first half because of his glaring inability to control and pass the ball that rendered attempts to start moves from the back futile.
Chicken Inn continued to dominate after their goal and their star players Ndoro and Matawu nearly grabbed the lead but the earlier was denied by a City defender while the latter’s long distance effort narrowly missed the target.
City captain Nguwodzawo nearly scored the winner for his side against the run of play midway through the second half but his powerful shot was punched back into play by Nyoni and the home side’s defenders quickly cleared the danger.
Ndoro then had the chance to finish the game off at the dearth but his effort narrowly missed the target with Harare City keeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu at his mercy.
Second half substitute Lineance Mpofu had set up Ndoro off a move that was started by Matawu.
City coach Bigboy Mawiwi said his charges had let themselves down by conceding from a set piece.
“We started well but unfortunately we went on to give away a soft goal but it’s still game on and I am happy that we were able to get a point although I would have loved to come away with maximum points,” Mawiwi said.