By Tobias Mandoreba
Hooliganism reared its ugly head in a Castle Lager Premiership match at the Colliery Stadium yesterday resulting in a 21-minute stoppage in the 55th minute when an overzealous Dynamos fan scaled the perimeter fence and sprinted to the Hwange goal area where he sprinkled an unidentified liquid substance from a plastic bottle.
This led to skirmishes in the terraces which degenerated into chaos as missiles rained onto the pitch from all directions forcing referee Prince Mathumo to stop the match.
Play only resumed after 21 minutes after riot police were deployed around the stadium with the hierarchy from both sets of the teams’ supporters also working overtime to calm down the agitated fans.
Match commissioner and Zifa Matabeleland North chairman Dennis Tshuma said: “The rowdy Dynamos fan was the cause of the stoppage. The safety of the players was hugely compromised and play had to be stopped. We will prepare the necessary reports citing facts for the authorities to act on.”
Away from the pandemonium that left a number of fans injured, it was Hwange who took the lead five minutes from the breather through an own goal by Godfrey Mukambi when goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya’s clearance ricocheted off his knee into the back of the net.
Five minutes later all hell then broke loose leading to the lengthy stoppage.
When play finally resumed, DeMbare levelled nine minutes from time through a cheeky free kick by Godknows Murwira, which eluded the wall and left goalkeeper Collen Phiri clutching thin air.
Hwange surged ahead for the second time in the 90th minute through a glancing Shepherd Gadzikwa header after rising to connect a curling Nomore Chinyerere free kick.
Eleven minutes into the 21 minutes of stoppage time DeMbare again drew level through Evans Katema, whose harmless looking effort was pushed into the net by a diving Phiri to rescue a point for DeMbare.
Nation Dube bemoaned the stoppage for disturbing his team’s rhythm.
“The stoppage which came soon after the break disturbed us as we attempted to go a gear up after the opener. On the other hand we let in soft goals,” Dube said.
Dynamos coach, Tonderayi Ndiraya, was happy to pick up a point away.
“Hwange is always a difficult place to come and get a result and I pay tribute to the boys for the fighting spirit. To come back from behind twice is commendable. Tribute to the young match referee for the firm grip on the game,” said Ndiraya.
Hwange: C Phiri; G Ndlovu; F Chindungwe; N Chinyerere; L Sibanda; A Chuma; S Gadzikwa; T Ncube; E Gwitima; K Chimbadzwa (L Vundla 80th min); N Gama (E Nkhulungo 90th min)
Dynamos: M Diya; E Jalas; T Muringai (C Ngahani 101 min) ; G Mukambi; M Mawadza; A Maliselo; G Murwira; K Dhemere (J Selemani 56th min); N Mangala; E Katema; N Katawa. The Chronicle