Chiragwi bemoans missed chance

NGEZI Platinum Stars coach Takesure Chiragwi has conceded his side missed an opportunity following their Wednesday defeat by Dynamos in their Castle Lager Premier SoccerLeague race.

NGEZI Platinum Stars coach Takesure Chiragwi has conceded his side missed an opportunity following their Wednesday defeat by Dynamos in their Castle Lager Premier SoccerLeague race.

Elton Chikona and Keith Madera's goals in either half earned the Harare giants a massive three points at the National Sports Stadium, a result that blew the title race wide open.

Takunda Benhura scored a consolation, his 10th goal of the season for the Mhondoro-based side who could have moved 10 points clear at the top with a win.

Although the destiny is still in Ngezi Platinum Stars' hands as they still command the top spot with 54 points, seven ahead of second-placed Highlanders with six matches remaining, Chiragwi is aware there is little margin for errors from now on as his side attempts to secure their first ever league championship.

“It's not yet over,” Chiragwi said. “We are seven points at the top because we have done our job and we deserve that lead. We were never given those points (on a platter). We worked very hard for them. We need to keep on working hard if we are to maintain the gap, which will be good because that is exactly what we want. My focus is to improve this team by maintaining the gap or getting more points and this is our wish as we continue to push forward,” he added.

On a day the nearest challengers in the title race Highlanders and FC Platinum dropped points, Chiragwi refused to discuss the impact that it could have in the title matrix.

Highlanders conceded at the death to draw 1-1 away at Green Fuel while defending champions FC Platinum were shocked 2-1 at home by relegation strugglers Black Rhinos to drop from second position to fourth.

“I only focus on Ngezi Platinum. Whatever the other teams are doing is their baby. My main focus here is to see that I improve this team, and make sure that I give the players motivation to play to win the next game.  For us this (defeat to Dynamos) is not a huge setback because when we play football there are three results. Either you lose, win or draw. If you get one of those results, you need to be happy because that is what football is all about. I have to accept the result and make sure we pick ourselves up and move forward. The only thing that I should be worried about is when the team is not performing. What guarantees you to win games are good perfomances. When you perform well and lose, I don't mind because I know we will win the next game. From our perfomance (against Dymamos), the difference was just on goals, so we will go back and rectify especially on how to defend better,” he added.

Dynamos' victory catapulted them to third on the log table with 46 points, eight behind Ngezi Platinum Stars, having played a game less.

Mangombe believes his men are back in the title mix.

“We want to try to win the next assignment and continue reducing the margin,” Mangombe said.

The former Yadah coach will be without the influential Donald Mudadi for the away trip to ZPC Kariba on Sunday after the midfielder was shown two yellow cards for time wasting. He delayed his departure from the field after he was substituted late on as the Harare giants employed every dirty trick in the book to get over the line.

“We registered 30 players and anyone can come in and do the job,” said Mangombe who was without two regulars Tanaka Shandirwa and Elvis Moyo against Ngezi Platinum Stars due to injuries. ”We didn't have Shandirwa but we managed to win. Shadreck Nyahwa came on and he played very well in that position. We will play another player in his (Mudadi)'s position.”

Matchday 29 fixtures

Saturday: Black Rhinos v Chicken Inn (Bata), Triangle v Simba Bhora (Gibbo), Fc Platinum v GreenFuel (Mandava), Herentals v Sheasham (National Sports Stadium).

Sunday: Manica Diamonds v Hwange (Gibbo), Zpc Kariba v Dynamos (Nyamhunga), Bulawayo Chiefs v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Yadah (Baobab), Caps United v Cranborne Bullets (National Sports Stadium).

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