Zimbabwean side Triangle got off to a dream start in their maiden Total CAF Confederation Cup appearance when they put on a five-star show to hammer visiting Rukinzo of Burundi 5-0 at Barbourfields stadium in Bulawayo, Sunday.
It was a preliminary round, first leg battle of the debutants and the Zimbabweans put one foot into the next round with a clinical show.
The hosts ensured they had calmed their nerves as early as the 7th minute when burly striker Allan Tavarwisa burst clear on goal and dribbled past Rukinzo goalkeeper Bosco Bankagakura with a low shot.
Rukinzo almost hit back 14 minutes later only for forward Ibrahim Niga Kwizera’s effort to fly over the bar.
Thereafter, Triangle, a Sugar producing company, upped the ante and kept the visitors’ goalkeeper busy but they would only wait until the 36th minute for Tavarwisa to complete his brace.
It was 3-0 on the verge of half-time when a good team goal was manufactured via combination play by Collins Dhuwa, Tavarwisa, Gerald Bhero and which ended with skipper Raphael Kawondera heading home.
Rukinzo’s Yaser Tuyisenge was unlucky to see his effort miss the target by a few inches with Triangle goalkeeper of Ronald Mudimu beaten in the 50th minute.
Mudimu who until then had been more of a spectator was then called to make two consecutive saves after 52 minutes to deny two dangerous efforts from Justin Fataki.
On the other end a Triangle counter raid resulted in Bhero providing an assist for Timothy January.
The hosts sealed their emphatic win with an injury time goal by substitute striker Nyasha Chintuli who headed home with his first touch of the ball after being sent on as a replacement for Tavarwisa in the 91st minute.
Rukinzo coach Ramadhani Maulidi attributed the big loss to lack of experience on the part of his charges.
“There are three results in a match of football, win, draw and loose. Today we lost and Triangle deserved to win. We will wait to fight another day and in football expect anything. This team came from the second division, then top league and today we are playing in Africa. It’s a very good experience and we are learning every day,” he said.
On his part, Triangle trainer Taurai Mangwiro who has set his side a target to reach the group stage of the tournament was very happy with their bright start.
“It’s a comfortable lead that we got but playing in Burundi will be a totally different game altogether and anything less than a convincing performance will give them some hope.
“We will play in the local league on Wednesday, a different competition altogether but we are eight games undefeated in the league and today’s game will definitely help us but we need to cover a lot of ground to get desired results,” said Mangwiro.