By Tobias Mandoreba
Hwange FC are firmly asserting themselves as draw specialists in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League after their showdown with fellow miners, FC Platinum, ended in a stalemate at the Colliery Stadium yesterday.
The coalminers have now drawn four games on the trot against Yadah (0-0 away), Dynamos (2-2 home), Ngezi Platinum Stars (1-1 away) and yesterday’s home draw.
The fiercely-contested match saw emotions boiling over on the FC Platinum bench as they felt hard done by Gift Mbweti’s disallowed goal five minutes from time after second assistant referee Michael Zulu adjudged that the lanky striker had used his hand to push the ball into the net in a goal mouth melee.
Referee, Mhaka Magare, concurred with his assistant and ruled out the goal, much to the chagrin of the FC Platinum bench which protested through head coach Norman Mapeza and captain Petros Mhari.
Mbweti’s woes were further compounded when he was shown a second yellow card for the offence, forcing FC Platinum to finish the match one man short.
Away from the drama, FC Platinum had quickly asserted themselves in the match by grabbing the lead in the second minute through livewire, Perfect Chikwende, who connected a teasing Raphael Muduwia cross into the back of the net from inside the box.
Mhari summoned all his reflexes to deny big Hwange striker Kasimero Chimbadzwa from a one-on-one situation in the 26th minute.
In the 35th minute the visitors fluffed a golden opportunity to double their lead after Devon Chafa headed wide while unmarked inside the box with only goalkeeper Taimon Mvula to beat.
Five minutes from halftime Chipangano levelled the scores when striker Ernest Gwitima clinically executed a spot kick after Rainsome Pavari had brought down Chimbadzwa as he went for the kill inside the box.
It then became a balanced and well contested affair until the late drama that threatened to spoil what was otherwise a good match of football where both teams showed the zeal to collect maximum points.
Hwange coach, Nation Dube, was very happy for the point.
“I am happy for my boys who fought hard to get a point against a team like FC Platinum. We are also travelling a lot and fatigue is setting in,” said Dube.
Mapeza, who insisted on not having a recorded interview, was fuming after the match and blamed the appointment of local match officials for the contest in which he felt they dropped two huge points.
Hwange: T Mvula; L Sibanda; N Chinyerere; G Ndlovu; A Banda; A Chuma; E Gwitima; T Ncube; L Vundla (D Maphosa 78th min); S Gadzikwa; K Chimbadzwa
FC Platinum: P Mhari; R Muduviwa; G Bello; K Madzongwe; W Stima; R Pavari; D Chafa (H Magaya 68th min); N Tigere; G Mbweti; T Chikore; P Chikwende. The Chronicle