Harare — Monomotapa are the only team without a point on the board and their coach Norman Mapeza has every reason to be worried - although for now he is not pressing the panic button.
Mapeza became a cult hero at the club after helping them survive relegation last season and a lot more was expected from Monos during this season.
But the club has had a terrible start to the their CBZ Premiership campaign - their worst start since their entry into the top-flight league in 2005. In their first game this season, Monomotapa lost 1-0 to Shooting Stars before going down 2-1 to Njube Sundowns and then 1-0 to Motor Action.
On Sunday, Mapeza's side slumped to their worst defeat of the season as they fell 3-0 to Chapungu who scored through Philip Marufu in the first half and two more goals from Lee Chirimhanzu and Pascal Shonhayi in the second half at Ascot.
Monomotapa are now preparing for a date against Lengthens in their fifth assignment. However, in all their defeats, Monomotapa have been getting the credit for excellent flowing football but Mapeza is fully aware that goals count at the end of the day.
"We have not been winning our games. There is nothing wrong with the way we are playing because at times we dominate play but just can't score. "We are doing everything to get the ball into the box but we are not scoring. "Maybe we do not have the luck because sometimes in football you need that," said Mapeza. In their debut season, Monomotapa got off to a fine start, beating Hwange 1-0 at the Colliery and then following it up with 1-0 win over Buymore, then lost to Lancashire Steel 1-0 but bounced back to beat Shabanie 2-1.
Mapeza yesterday said they only need a break to start winning matches, but the question remains -- when will the break come?
"We just need a breakthrough and we will start getting the results. "We have to keep on trying," he said. Going into last weekend's games, Underhill were also pointless but at least managed a sigh of relief when they held Motor Action 1-1 at Motor Action Sports Club on Saturday.
Daniel Chakupe gave the hosts the lead in the 60th minute and Tendai Makumbi forced a share of spoils with last minute equaliser. Mighty Bulls coach Jostein Mathuthu believes his side could have collected maximum points had they taken the game to their opponents right from the first whistle. "We did not play so well in the first half but our performance had improved in the second half where we created some chances. "I am happy that the team improved and on the referee, he made mistakes as a human being but our appeal is for the match officials to minimise their mistakes," said Mathuthu.
Underhill had Beaven Gwamure sitting on the bench despite his stand-off with Division One club Douglas Warriors who sued him for breach of contract in August last year. According to a judgment issued by the Zifa player's status committee on December 19, 2007, Gwamure is barred from coaching any team until he has settled his case with Douglas Warriors. Motor Action vice-chairman Simeon Jamanda yesterday said his side was looking at how Gwamure was allowed to sit on the bench when he had a pending case.
"We had wanted to raise that matter over Gwamure's status before the game but I blame Zifa for not empowering their coaches' association to act in such matters. "Zifa should let the law take its course if a coach is suspended so that clubs are not prejudiced but Zifa have done nothing to help their affiliate. "The coaches' association has also raised an issue of qualifications but nothing has been done," said Jamanda. Lancashire Steel also gained their first point of the season when Tafadzwa Mombeshora thrust them into the lead in the 36th minute before Cuthbert Malajila equalised for Highlanders 10 minutes from the break at Baghdad on Sunday.
2008 Independence Trophy winners Shooting Stars - battered by fatigue playing their fourth match within eight days having travelled about 2 000km within that period - finally lost 0-3 at Sundowns.
But despite the scoreline, the Wild Boys received a lot of credit for their passing game which continues to win a lot of admirers. Shooting Stars beat Underhill 2-1 last Saturday at Mucheke before edging Dynamos in the Independence Trophy semi-final on Tuesday and then piping Highlanders 1-0 in the cup final on Thursday.
Normally, Shooting Stars resume training on Tuesdays but coach Partson Ndabambi has given his players another day's rest. "Fatigue has taken its toll on my players and that's why we lost in Gwanda. Sometimes you had to feel sorry for the players because of the hectic fixtures but this is just a temporary setback and we will bounce back soon."
Champions DeMbare once again failed to shine at Gwanzura on on Sunday where they were held to a 1-1 draw by Masvingo United.