TRIANGLE – An overpowering second half performance by Triangle swept aside 3-1 a battling Mutare City Rovers during a Castle Lager Premiership match here yesterday.
All four goals came in the second period; with the first one in the 46th minute and the last one right at the death.
Triangle found the target through Ralph Kawondera, Nelson Maziwisa and Simba Makini Sithole before Russell Madamombe scored the consolation for the visitors.
Triangle assistant coach Biggie Zuze credited the win to his charges’ ability to follow their game plan.
“We did well as we controlled the game from the word go… We created enough chances to get the win. We should have gone to the break with a lead but their keeper saved them,” an excited Zuze said after the game.
Rovers coach Taku Shariwa felt hard done by referee Todd Matenga, whom he felt disallowed two goals – one as offside and another as a line clearance, and also waved away two penalty appeals either side of the halves.
“I congratulate them (Triangle) for taking their chances,” Shariwa said before tearing into the referee.
“We feel that some decisions that were made against us at critical moments in the game also cost us the game. First when the match was goalless and when they were leading one-nil.
“We also conceded soft goals…we certainly need to beef up the squad because most of the players lack Premiership experience and we cannot expect miracles from them.”
The match had started with a see-saw battle with exciting possession football by both teams but the visitors were soon pinned in their own half.
While the municipal police side’s midfield was dysfunctional and starving their potentially lethal twin strikers of Stephen Sibanda and Madamombe it was in defence that the team’s supporters’ stomachs were being pumped full of butterflies.
The Rovers defence was lethargic and disoriented.
Triangle could have opened the scoring as early as the third minute after Maziwisa’s header rattled the cross bar from a Brian Juwayeyi in-swinging cross.
Moments later, the visitors’ veteran forward Stephen Sibanda had the ball in the back of the net but Matenga ruled it out for offside.
An exciting Juwayeyi, who was tormenting Mutare City’s defence, missed a clear opportunity after Courage Denias sliced through the wobbly visitors’ rearguard.
Denias had done all the hard work and squared for Juwayeyi, who could only miss from close range.
Triangle finally breached the resolute Magusha defence right after the break when Kawondera lashed a shot past a sprawling Philip Nhete after an under pressure Magusha defence failed to clear a Juwayeyi corner.
The home side added a second in the 68th minute after Maziwisa intercepted a pass in a congested defence to roll it past a drawn-out Nhete.
Second half substitutes Malvern Gaki and Makoni were to combine to add to Mutare City’s misery in a ravaging quick counter.
Gaki flew down the left before sending in a pinpoint cross for Makoni to coolly head home past a heavily-exposed Nhete.
The visitors could have reduced the arrears five minutes from time but a Caleb Masocha effort was cleared off the line.
Madamombe, however, grabbed a consolation goal in injury time from the spot.