King Saul charms Mutare . . . as Lithium Boys face DeMbare

29 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
King Saul charms Mutare . . . as Lithium Boys face DeMbare SHREWD SCHEMER . . . Saul Chaminuka, a renowned football tactician, snatched a point in last Sunday’s Castle Lager Premiership encounter against Yadah FC at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare. —Picture: Tinai Nyadzayo

The ManicaPost


Ray Bande
Senior Reporter


JUST like the Biblical Saul who is revered as the first king to unite the tribes of Israel, including ancient Israel and Judah under a single rule, Bikita Minerals coach, Saul Chaminuka has earned the admiration and respect of all football fans in Mutare.


Last Sunday, the Saul Chaminuka-coached Bikita Minerals convinced even the most neutrals in the terraces that they can be a force to reckon with in the Castle Lager Premiership this season, given the unique brand of attacking football they exhibited.


The Lithium Boys put up a polished performance, whose only major undoing was the lack of cutting edge and precision in front of goal.


With a bit of luck, the Lithium Boys could have easily wrapped up the match in the first 45 minutes of the encounter, but somehow they came so near, yet so far to breach the Yadah FC defence.


Their dreadlocked forward, Enock Moyo who later found the target in the 66th minute to give his side a well-deserved lead, fluffed many clear scoring opportunities that came his way.


Just when all and sundry believed that Bikita Minerals were on course to collect a full set of points on their Premiership debut, Yadah FC levelled that arrears at the stroke of regulation time.


SPYING MISSION: Dynamos coach, Genesis Mangombe was in the terraces at Sakubva Stadium last Sunday when Bikita Minerals drew one-all with Yadah FC. —Picture: Artwell Gumiso

SPYING MISSION . . . Dynamos coach, Genesis Mangombe was in the terraces at Sakubva Stadium last Sunday when Bikita Minerals drew one-all with Yadah FC. — Picture: Artwell Gumiso


Yadah FC levelled terms following an own goal by Bikita Minerals and former Manica Diamonds FC defender, Carlton Munzabwa.


Munzabwa deflected the ball into his own net.


Such was the tenacity that the Lithium Boys approached last Sunday’s encounter to the extent that Yadah FC needed their opponents’ own goal to save them from humiliation by the Premiership debutants.


That Bikita Minerals had no meaningful preparations ahead of the season, having been locked in a protracted boardroom Eastern Region Division One championship, places into context the potential that the team exudes.


On Easter Monday, Bikita Minerals will face Harare giants, Dynamos at Sakubva Stadium in a must win encounter for both teams, especially for the Genesis Mangombe-coached outfit.


However, given the way Bikita Minerals have endeared themselves with the fans in Mutare, coupled with their band of legion travelling fans from Bikita, it will certainly not be a stroll in the park for Mangombe and his boys.


In a post-match interview last Sunday, Chaminuka, who has coached Mutare-based teams in the Premiership — Eastern Lions and Buffaloes — believes Sakubva Stadium can be home away from home for his side.


“For me as an individual, Mutare is my home. I feel at home each time I am here. I have worked here and maintained a good working relationship with everyone who matters in football, and I am not surprised with the support that my team — Bikita Minerals — are getting here.


“We will surely strive to make Sakubva Stadium a fortress for Bikita Minerals and this is just a good step towards accomplishing that mission,” he said.


Chaminuka, however, was quick to lament the lack of a match venue in Masvingo Province.
“It is sad that the whole of Masvingo Province has no appropriate match venue to host top-flight league matches. Big as it is, we cannot get a single match venue in Masvingo that we can play our home matches. It is what it is and we are grateful that we are able to feel at home here in Mutare,” said Chaminuka.


To bear evidence to the popularity that Bikita Minerals are fast earning in Mutare, well-known Mutare football player manager, Donald ‘King Azuri’ Manhende, said: “As Mutare and Manicaland at large, we are rallying behind Bikita Minerals since it had been a while without top-flight football in our province. We are blessed to have two top-flight teams using Sakubva Stadium as their home venue. So we are happy to announce that Manica Diamonds and Bikita Minerals are welcome and guaranteed full home support at Sakubva Stadium.


“We enjoyed their (Bikita Minerals) display during their match against Yadah FC, and they deserve our support.”


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