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KNOWLEDGE Musona has played many memorable games for his country but his performance yesterday is likely to leave a lasting impression on the minds of many Zimbabweans after the forward grabbed a hat-trick in his first match as Warriors captain to subdue Liberia in the opening match of the 2019 African Cup of Nations soccer qualifiers at the National Sports Stadium.

The KV Oostende man, a worthy pick for the captain’s armband by Mapeza during the mid-week, led from the front after putting Zimbabwe ahead with 24 minutes on the clock and then adding two more goals to his tally after the interval.

With a bit of luck, he could have made it four with 15 minutes remaining but his curling shot from the edge of the box was denied by the crossbar.

Still, “the Smiling Assassin” walked home with the match ball as he joined an exclusive clique of Zimbabweans who have scored hat-tricks for the national team who include Peter Ndlovu and Vitalis “Digital” Takawira.

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  • CHICKEN Inn coach Rahman Gumbo read the riot act to his players ahead of last Sunday’s away trip to Hwange, reprimanding them for complacency which is threatening their championship cause.

    Gumbo was livid at his charges following a subdued midweek performance that saw the 2015 league champions being downed 0-1 by Premiership returnees Black Rhinos at Luveve Stadium.

    Chicken Inn players clearly underrated Rhinos only to try and raise their game towards the halfway stage of the first half after realising that their opponents were not pushovers.

    But by then, Rhinos were in control of the game resulting in Chicken Inn players being frustrated and picking up a number of unnecessary yellow cards.

    Gumbo said he had to rein in his players and is happy with their response.

    “I made it clear that I don’t tolerate indiscipline. Against Black Rhinos we picked up so many yellow cards as well as a red card and I can’t have that in my team. I think whatever we spoke about after our loss to Black Rhinos sunk in their minds and as professionals I expect them to deliver,” he said.

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  • IT probably needed the country’s biggest club to stop high-riding newboys Yadah Stars and give them a reality check on life in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

    After a storming start to their maiden season in the top-flight life Yadah had looked poised to continue with their fairy tale in which they had been unbeaten in five starts until Ocean Mushure’s first half strike ended that streak.

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  • A priceless goal by Chris Samakweri on the stroke of half time clinched three points for visiting Chicken Inn in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the Colliery Stadium yesterday.

    The coalminers have now gone for 270 minutes of football without a win at their once feared home ground and they are yet to score at the Colliery Stadium.

    Chicken Inn, who went into the match bruised following a midweek loss to Black Rhinos, were the first to settle and could have grabbed the opening goal inside the first minute had striker Obidiah Tarumbwa not directed his effort off target from inside the box under no challenge at all.

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  • Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Scores

    • Yadah FC 0-1 Dynamos
    • Highlanders 1-0 Ngezi Platinum
    • Hwange 0-1 Chicken Inn
    • Shabanie Mine 1- 0 Tsholotsho
    • Caps United 4-0 Chapungu
    • Bulawayo City FC 1- 2 Triangle United

    AN ill-advised substitution and a well-timed one turned yesterday’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match in Highlanders’ favour against Ngezi Platinum and propelled them to the top of the league table.

    After bravely holding their own against Bosso for more than an hour, Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderayi Ndiraya made a double substitution in the 65th minute; taking out Qadr Amin and Dominic Mukandi for Tichaona Mabvura and Donald Teguru. He then abandoned his compact 3-5-2 formation in favour of a 4-3-3 system, but his world collapsed on him as the two players failed to cope with the formation.

    Bosso coach Erol Akbay pulled out his best player on view Allen Gahadzikwa and threw in veteran Ralph Matema three minutes later and the whole puzzle fell into place as they started dictating the pace and it was only a matter of time before the goal came.

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  • SPORTS minister Makhosini Hlongwane has taken a swipe at officials in the Ministry of Local Government for prioritising Pastor Chris’ Christ Embassy Church crusade at the expense of the scheduled Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixtures, which were slated for the National Sports Stadium.

    Pastor Chris will be in the country on May 7 for the crusade and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) had also written to the Local Government ministry, headed by Saviour Kasukuwere, expressing their displeasure over the disruption of the league programme.

    Addressing journalists at the Sport ministry’s stand at the ZITF yesterday, Hlongwane said he was not happy with the Local Government ministry’s decision.

    “This is to do with the fact that the Premier League schedule may be disrupted as a result of the fact that the National Sports Stadium has been rented out to a church. As Ministry of Sport and Recreation, we abhor the ceding away of space that belongs to sport and recreation to churches especially in cases where it happens at the expense of sport and recreation activities,” Hlongwane said.

    The National Sports Stadium is the only facility available at the moment for clubs in Harare. A contingent plan was made yesterday where three of the four matches in Harare will be played at Morris Depot.

    “We know that some of these facilities when sports activities are not happening will be hired out for various other activities as a way of raising income in order to look after and maintain those facilities especially given the constrained fiscal space at the moment.

    However, this should not happen at the expense of football and sport activities. Therefore, we want to urge those officials within the Local Government ministry to understand and take their role seriously and understand that government did invest in constructing this infrastructure for the benefit of the sport and recreation sector. We will not tolerate any continued disruption of scheduled sport and recreation activities on account of that space being ceded out to other activities that are not sport and recreation,” he added.

    The government official said he had engaged Kasukuwere over the matter and also made consultations with Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa.

    “We take that very seriously and we are very unhappy with this development. I had discussions with minister Kasukuwere last night (Thursday) in respect of this particular matter and he promised that he was going to discuss with his officials to make sure the situation is corrected. “

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  • HOW Mine coach Kelvin Kaindu said he was shocked by Dynamos’ pathetic performance yesterday after the lifeless Glamour Boys turned on a horror show to slump to another home defeat in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at the National Sports Stadium.

    Lloyd Mutasa’s men succumbed to a late first half header by Toto Banda following a defensive gaffe involving goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga and Lincolin Zvasiya.

    It was Dynamos’ second straight home defeat in the Premiership campaign after they also fell 0-1 to FC Platinum on the opening day of the season.

    Kaindu said he was surprised by DeMbare’s poor show.

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  • BLACK Rhinos made a giant leap on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League table moving from eighth to second after punishing former champions Chicken Inn at Luveve Stadium yesterday.

    The army side produced a disciplined performance and made 10 men Chicken Inn pay dearly for underrating them.

    Rhinos got the important goal to secure maximum points 10 minutes into the second half through an overhead strike by Cliff Chitsamba following a good build-up.

    Chitsamba reacted quickly to a Benjamin Marere chest-controlled ball off a Milton Kureva cross from the left and beat Chicken Inn goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze.

    While Rhinos coach Stanford Stix Mtizwa was happy with his team’s performance, his Chicken Inn counterpart Rahman Gumbo was livid at his charges for their subdued show

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  • EXCITING times lie ahead for women’s football after Zifa undertook to sponsor a 16-team national Zimbabwe Women’s Soccer League, whose kick-off has tentatively been pencilled for early next month.

    The national women’s football league makes a return after a four-year absence.

    According to Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda, all participating teams will be kitted and given four footballs each, while transport and referees’ fees will also be taken care of by the national association.

    “The women’s Super League is back. Through funds we get as Zifa, we will pay for transport and referees’ fees, with teams only taking care of minor expenses like feeding their players. Fifa has an ambitious programme of promoting the girl child and as Zifa we are fulfilling that mandate as well,” said Sibanda.

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  • Ngezi Platinum remained on top of the log standings with 10 points from five starts while Makepekepe retreated one place into eighth position with six points from four outings.

    The Green Machine appeared on course for victory after goals by Tafadzwa Rusike and Abbas Amidu who was playing as the main forward. But, just when it seemed like they had won the game, the hosts fought back.

    Makepekepe skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi was disappointed with the draw.

    “We managed to get a point away from home but to me it was so disappointing, we needed maximum points in this game and we had done everything for it.

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  • Bantu Rovers 2-3 Hwange FC

    BANTU Rovers suffered yet another loss in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League when they were downed by Hwange at Luveve Stadium yesterday.

    A 44th minute penalty conversion by Justine Kaunda and goals by Nomore Chinyerere and Melvine Mekiwa handed Nation Dube’s boys maximum points following last week’s last minute heartbreak that saw them conceding a last minute sucker punch at the hands of Dynamos.

    Rovers, who were under their new assistant coach Joseph Sibindi, got their consolation goals through a brace by captain Bukhosi Sibanda.

    The match started on a high tempo, with both sides searching for  an early goal.

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