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Benzas shine at Barbourfields

Bulawayo City . . . . . . . . . . . 0 Herentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1

By Ngqwele Dube

Herentals player-director Innocent Benza provided an assist for his son Tinotenda to score the goal that earned the Students the priceless points as the visitors piled more misery on Bulawayo City at Barbourfields yesterday.

Innocent Benza
Innocent Benza

Bulawayo City’s defeat means they continue to sink deeper into the relegation zone.

The visitors took a quick throw-in and the older Benza sent a back-heel to his son, who beat an advancing Munyaradzi Diya in goal for City in the 68th minute.

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Tinotenda, who came in as a second half substitute, caught the City rearguard napping as they were still setting up their lines in anticipation of the throw-in and Diya could do nothing, but watch the ball roll into the net.
Herentals had the luxury of missing a penalty, but still managed to collect maximum points.

Referee Artwell Mazire pointed to the spot in the 31st minute when City defender Benson Phiri went down together with Herentals’ Blessing Maunganidze inside the box, as the visitors were on the attack, although it looked like there was no contact.

As if to deliver poetic justice, Diya dived to his right to punch the penalty kick taken by Carlos Mavhurume, back into play, but Herentals failed to attack the spilled ball.

City had several chances during the tepid match, particularly in the first half, with Ozias Zibande missing a glorious chance when he hit the crossbar in the 12th minute after he had exchanged passes with Nhlanhla Ndlovu in their first attack of the game.

Eight minutes later, Phiri was gifted a free header inside the box off a Humphrey Ncube cross, but his effort went over the bar.

Blessing Majarira could have opened Herentals’ account in the 30th minute when he made his way past the City defence and released a shot on the edge of the box, but the ball went inches past the upright with Diya beaten.

The loss makes it three in a row since Bekithemba “Super” Ndlovu took over from Amini Soma-Phiri as head coach and leaves City rooted second from the bottom of the table tied on 15 points with basement club Shabanie Mine.

Ndlovu, however, expressed optimism saying his charges played well, but were let down by failure to find the target. He feels they need to refine their accuracy upfront while ensuring they don’t concede.

Herentals coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziwa was enthralled with the win but said he was disappointed with the performance.  The Herald