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Chirinda back with a bang

Obriel Chirinda scored a late goal on his debut as Ngezi Platinum Stars' resurgence continued yesterday with a thrashing win over Chicken Inn at Baobab Stadium yesterday.

Ngezi Platinum Stars  . (2) 3

Chicken Inn . . . . . . . .  . 0

Obriel Chirinda scored a late goal on his debut as Ngezi Platinum Stars' resurgence continued yesterday with a thrashing win over Chicken Inn at Baobab Stadium yesterday.

Chirinda, who was at the centre of a protracted contractual dispute between Ngezi Platinum and Dynamos which was only settled two weeks ago, scored on the 90th minute after coming on as a 35th minute substitute for another goal scorer Talent Chamboko.

Chamboko fired the hosts in front from close range just after 15 minutes before he was pulled out with a suspected injury just after the half hour mark.

Last season's league top goal scorer Takunda Benhura then doubled the lead with a smart finish on 27th minute from an exquisite Farai Madhanaga pass before Chirinda put the gloss on the scoreline.

The victory was their fourth on the trot as the league champions continued with their resurgence following a false start to their title defence.

The Takesure Chiragwi-coached side are now fourth on the log standings with 24 points, seven behind log leaders FC Platinum with 15 matches played.

After a decent start from the visitors, the reigning champions dominated and hardly put a foot wrong with their passing in the first half.

They were full of value for their two goals in a dominant first half performance in which they could have even scored more.

Chiragwi was happy with his team's perfomance and delighted for Chirinda.

"The boys played well. We started the game well, the guys were just spot on. I was worried with the mini-break because I thought we would struggle to come back," he said.

On Chirinda's perfomance and the goal, Chiragwi said, "I'm more than happy, but more importantly it's also good for him as a player to score after all what happened. He played well, and I couldn't ask for more. It also gives him confidence going forward."

A key moment arrived just after the half-hour mark when Chamboko was pulled out to be replaced by Chirinda for his belated debut.

The former Bulawayo Chiefs striker joined the Mhondoro-based side at the start of the season but was forced to sit out the team's first 14 matches of the season due to a contractual dispute between his new club and Dynamos.

DeMbare alleged that Chirinda signed with them first before Ngezi came in to scuttle the deal.

It took the intervention of the Zifa players committee to settle the matter in favour of the defending league champions.

He justified why the two teams fought for his signature with some close ball control and his movement off the ball was on point.

Just minutes after coming on, Chirinda was already causing problems in the Chicken Inn box, with his every touch greeted by wild roars from the partisan home crowd who were obviously delighted to see their marquee signing in action.

Chicken Inn did improve in the second half with some decent chances, but Chirinda killed the game off with a well-taken goal after running onto a cross to make it a debut to remember.

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