Bikita Minerals stun Simba Bhora Tonderai Ndiraya

Ray Bande in Mutare

Bikita Minerals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1

Simba Bhora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

SIMBA Bhora coach Tonderai “Stanza” Ndiraya is not happy with the “punishing” schedule of fixtures, which he blames for his team’s loss to Bikita Minerals in an entertaining Castle Lager Premiership football match at Sakubva yesterday. 

Simba Bhora played against Manica Diamonds in Murambinda in Buhera last Wednesday as part of the President’s Children’s Party celebrations before they travelled to Bulawayo for a league fixture on Sunday.

They were back on the road for yesterday’s encounter against Bikita Minerals in Mutare.

And Ndiraya believes the travelling had a telling effect on their performance. 

“I cannot blame my players for the result. I knew it was always going to be difficult given the punishing fixtures schedule we were exposed to.

“We travelled more than 3,000 km to fulfil three matches in such a short space of time and that was always going to affect our performance. 

“This is the reason why we initially asked for a postponement of this encounter. 

“However, we just have to soldier on and fight hard as we move on to ensure we get the results we want in up-coming matches,’’ said Ndiraya. 

Yesterday’s match was largely a balanced affair even though the home team somehow had an upper hand, especially in the second half. Both teams were guilty of missing clear-cut scoring opportunities from the first whistle. 

In the 15th minute, Bikita Minerals’ Chris Makamba drove the ball well from the middle of the park and dribbled past Simba Bhora right back Webster Tafa but somehow, lacked precision as he charged towards goal and blasted the ball way off target from close range. 

A minute later, Simba Bhora got a clear-cut scoring opportunity when their top man Tymon Machope got to the end of a sudden counter-attack but despite being unmarked he failed to nod the ball into an empty net as he directed his effort off target, much to the disappointment of Simba Bhora sympathisers. Nonetheless, it was Bikita Minerals skipper Barnabas Mtuche who played a true captain’s role when he propelled his team into the lead just a minute before the break with a clever back heel that fooled Simba Bhora.

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