Herentals, ZPC Kariba in stalemate

Herentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

ZPC Kariba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

FOR a team that finished a respectable fifth in 2019, ZPC Kariba’s performance in the first half of the 2021-2022 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League could be described as catastrophic.

Kauya Katuruturu are languishing in relegation zone, with three wins from 17 matches.

It looks like there won’t be any rest for Rodwell Dhlakama’s men during the mid-season break.

The vastly travelled coach was appointed by ZPC Kariba on May 5, replacing the long-serving Godfrey Tamirepi who was having difficulties picking up points.

Dhlakama, who roped in Darlington Dodo as his assistant, has now presided over four matches, and yesterday’s draw against Herentals at the National Sports Stadium was his second on the trot.

He began his tenure with a 1-0 home win against WhaWha before losing 3-0 to Bulawayo City at Barbourfields.

ZPC Kariba drew 0-0 against Highlanders at Nyamhunga in their last league encounter.

Yesterday, they drew in a game they could have won had their forwards been more clinical.

They remained third from bottom with 15 points from 17 matches.

They have three wins, six draws and eight losses.

“Looking at the position we are in on the log, it’s not pleasing,’’ said Dhlakama after yesterday’s draw.

“It’s sad that we are still languishing in the murky waters of relegation.

“But, if we keep our heads and have the determination, we will come right.

“We have lost two points, or is it one point gained away from home, but I am happy with the way the boys applied themselves.

“We created a lot of chances but luck eluded us. We had a goal disallowed but it’s not for me to judge.

“In terms of fighting spirit, the boys did well and I am sure they will come right.”

The visitors had a goal ruled out for offside in the 36th minute.

Veteran striker Newman Sianchali blasted home from close range after Herentals goalkeeper Kudakwashe Mukuura had spilled a stinging free-kick by Simbarashe Gorogodyo, but he was adjudged to have been in an offside position.

It was Herentals who got the first real opportunity of the day when Tino Benza came close with a free-kick after only nine minutes.

Sianchali had a chance to open the scores in the 20th minute but he mistimed the ball inside the six-yard box.

Five minutes later, the seasoned forward shot wide with his weaker left foot after he found some space outside the box.

Sianchali, who was arguably the major threat to the hosts in the first half, was at it again in the 31st minute, beating his marker before firing straight at Mukuura.

<Herentals started the second half with more urgency.

They could have gone ahead in the 55th minute but Tafadzwa Jim’s effort crashed against the bar.

ZPC Kariba carved their first chance of the second stanza on the hour mark when Gorogodyo’s rising shot was tipped over by Mukuura.

In the end, the two teams settled for a share of spoils, a result that leaves Herentals on 24 points.

And their coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva felt his charges played under pressure to win after last weekend’s goalless draw against Dynamos at the same venue.

“A difficult game for us to manage after we played a draw against Dynamos.

“I think the pressure was on the boys to win the match.

“They were playing under pressure…they couldn’t string passes. They were not complementing one another enough.”

Source: Sundaymail