Zim PSL wrap: Ngezi close gap as Dynamos stumble
Qadr Amin's second-half strike powered Ngezi Platinum to a vital 1-0 win away to Bulawayo City on Saturday as Tonderai Ndiraya's team came to within a point of log leaders Dynamos, who could only manage a 1-1 draw away to ZPC Kariba on matchday 28 in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League.
Ngezi have spent more time at the log summit than any other team this season but they looked to be losing their footing of late.
Saturday's win in Bulawayo however provided ample proof that the Mhondoro-based miners remain very much in the mix as the title race proceeds towards a riveting finale.
Ngezi dominated the first-half but struggled to create enough openings to make their superiority count. However, things changed following the second-half introduction of midfielder Terence Dzvukamanja, who began to cause some real problems for the home defence with his skill and quick brain.
The 23-year-old then created the winner after finding space on the right to send a fine delivery into the box, and Amin obliged to steer Ngezi to their 17th win of the campaign.
The victory was all the sweeter given title rivals Dynamos' woes at Kariba, where they needed to come from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw.
Kariba, who had not tasted victory in their last four matches, took a deserved lead through Never Tigere on 26 minutes but Dynamos responded almost immediately as Denver Mukamba finished off a sweeping move for his eighth goal of the campaign.
Coach Lloyd Mutasa had restored midfielder Mukamba Obey Mwerahari to the starting line-up, with the later deployed in midfield behind a front three of Christian Ntouba, Cleopas Kapupurike and Masimba Mambare.
But Mukamba's deeper role failed to solve the team's lack of cohesion, and it was the hosts who dominated possession earlier on to create some dangerous moments for Dynamos goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga.
In a match played on Friday, Chicken Inn coach Rahman Gumbo was left fuming after his charges settled for a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Shabanie Mine.
Passmore Bernard put the 2015 champions ahead on the half-hour mark, but any hopes of a first win in four matches were dashed as Shabanie skipper Farai Mupasiri netted the leveller just after the hour mark.
Chicken Inn, whose lack of bite upfront could cost them dearly, remain in fourth-place, five points adrift of leaders Dynamos.
At the opposite end of the table, Brian Mapfumo scored a priceless last-gasp goal as Yadah FC eased their relegation worries with a 3-2 win over Black Rhinos.
Goals by Wellington Kamudyariwa and Moses Demera put Yadah into a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead only for Lot Chiunga to bring Rhinos back into the game with a goal either side of the break.
Just as the match seemed headed for a stalemate, Mapfumo struck to give the premiership debutants a huge fillip in their battle to avoid the drop.
Another relegation-threatened side, Harare City, also collected maximum points after condemning basement dwellers Bantu Rovers to a 5-0 thrashing.
Martin Vengesai netted twice and Tinashe Balakasi also found the net to put City 2-0 up going into the break. Further goals from Wellington Muvurimi and Edwin Madhananga, and Vengesai's second, condemned Bantu to another disastrous result.