By Tobias Mandoreba
A draw was probably the fairest result in this Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between Hwange and Highlanders played before a huge crowd at the Colliery Stadium yesterday.
Both teams were hard pressed for a return to winning ways and their approach from the first whistle clearly showed the zeal to win.
Highlanders got the first opportunity in the contest when Brian Banda’s dipping shot found goalkeeper Taimon Mvula alert in the 12th minute.
Not to be outdone, the coalminers punched back two minutes later through Lucky Vundla, who watched in agony as his glancing header sailed over the bar.
It became a see-saw affair, getting fired up in the second half dominated by Highlanders through inspired performances by Nqobizitha Masuku, Ray Lunga and Devine Mhindirira.
Mvula denied Bosso in quick succession twice within the opening seven minutes of the second half when he smothered Prince Dube and Mbongeni Ndlovu’s efforts from close range as Highlanders sought to break deadlock.
On the other hand, Hwange lacked firepower to cause any upset as their usually reliable striker, Kasimero Chimbadzwa, struggled to find his usual rhythm.
The best chance of the day fell to Bosso striker Tinashe Makanda in injury time when he came face-to-face with Mvula after a swift Bosso attack, but he broke the vocal black and white masses’ hearts when he shot tamely into the hands of Mvula.
The last moments were characterised by some drama, as the Hwange technical bench felt hard done by referee Prince Matumo, who they accused of ignoring an incident in which goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda allegedly kicked substitute Loyd Mutoma in an off the ball incident inside the box after he had collected a loose ball.
Hwange coach, Nation Dube, was happy with the performance of the team but fumed about the officiating.
“The boys put up a decent performance, although we have to work on a number of areas, but the officiating we witnessed was not pleasing,” said Dube.
Bosso boss, Mandla Mpofu, bemoaned the chances his charges wasted.
“We created chances, but wasted them. In football dominance doesn’t give you three points, but a point on the road is not bad,” said Mpofu.
Hwange: T Mvula; K Matake; W Munorwei; L Sibanda; G Nldovu; F Chindungwe; E Nkhulungo; A Ndlovu (L Mutoma 70th min); E Gwitima (S Gadzikwa 45th min); L Vundla (T Ncube 60th min); K Chimbadzwa
Highlanders: A Sibanda; M Phiri; B Banda; R Lunga; N Masuku; A Mbeba; P Muduhwa; M Ndlovu; T Makanda; P Dube (M Sibanda 60th min); D Mhindirira. The Chronicle