Hwange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
HOSTS Hwange and champions Dynamos dished out a fine game of football to the fans and shared the spoils in this thrilling Castle Lager Premier League encounter before a huge crowd at the Colliery yesterday.
The coalminers, who were firing from all cylinders, controlled the opening stanza with some good football and got their goal through a stunner by left-back Munyaradzi Mungadze in the eighth minute.
The Glamour Boys had a better second half performance, revolving around the work rate of talisman Ronald Chitiyo, though they needed a bit of luck in the 48th minute for their equaliser.
Defender Andrew Chuma presented them with an early Christmas present after he slipped in an attempt to clear a loose ball to leave Chitiyo with acres of space to square the ball to Dominic Chungwa who easily slotted home.
Dynamos will feel relieved after the draw as their last two trips to the Colliery turned into a nightmare with a 4-2 hammering in 2013 and a 1-0 loss last year.
The coalminers started the match in impressive fashion with anchorman Craven Banda’s deflected shot almost deceiving Dynamos goalminder Tatenda Mukuruva in the sixth minute but the ‘keeper recovered in time to save the situation.
Two minutes later the Hwange fans erupted into a frenzy of delight as the hosts raced into the lead through left-back Mungadze who latched onto a clever flick by striker Gilbert Zulu before powering home a screamer which swerved in mid-air to beat Mukuruva.
The goal left the Dynamos fans, who had painted the whole town blue and white from the early hours of yesterday morning by selling the team’s regalia and blaring car horns and trumpets, in a deathly silence.
The coalminers did not sit back after the breakthrough and could have doubled their advantage on the quarter hour mark only for an alert Mukuruva to deny Farai Vimisai from close range.
Hardly a minute later Hwange goalminder Takabva Mawaya almost gifted the Glamour Boys an equaliser when his miscued clearance fell onto the path of an unmarked Walter Mukanga who disappointed by blazing his effort over the bar with an empty net in front of him.
Hwange continued to turn the screws on the visitors and were again unable to increase their tally as Mukuruva produced the save of the afternoon in the 22nd minute when he went airborne to push out a blistering Vimisai 30-metre volley out for a corner kick as Dynamos continued to live dangerously in the opening period.
Dynamos could have grabbed an equaliser ten minutes from the breather after Ocean Mushure’s dipping free kick from the edge of the box forced Hwange goalie Mawaya to summon all his reflexes to push the effort for a corner.
The Harare giants came back from half time charging like a wounded buffalo and were on level terms three minutes into the last half after Chuma inexplicably stumbled to the ground in an attempt to clear to leave Chitiyo with all the room to coolly lay the ball to Chungwa who obliged by tapping home.
The goal lifted Dynamos’ tempo of the game and Godknows Murwira watched in agony as his snap shot sailed inches over the crossbar five minutes after his side’s equaliser.
The match then became a see-saw affair as they both teams conducted their football business in a manner which left the atmosphere in the terraces supercharged.
Hwange’s Craven Banda then almost produced a moment of magic in the 68th minute when his curling corner kick required another moment of brilliance from the Dynamos goalminder who used the tip of his gloves to push the goal-bound effort for a corner-kick.
Hwange coach Nation Dube then threw in speed merchant Newman Sianchali for Craven Banda in the 70th minute and the substitute almost made an immediate impact three minutes later when he latched onto a loose ball after a goalmouth melee only for his rasping shot to whistle past the left upright by a few inches with Mukuruva beaten.
Hwange coach Nation Dube felt his boys let Dynamos off the hook.
“We gifted Dynamos with that goal after Chuma just panicked under no pressure but overally the boys played well but also missed many chances as we could have wrapped up the game in the first half.
“These draws are not okay as we go forward.” said Dube after the match.
DeMbare coach, David “Yogi” Mandigora, was content with a point after the tough match.
“It was a tough match indeed and I am happy we came stronger especially in the last half and got the goal which ensured we got a point away from home,” he said.
T. Mawaya; T. Sibelo( P. Dube 64th min); M. Mungadze; G. Ndlovu; C. Muleya; A. Tshuma; I. Mucheneka; F. Vimisai; C. Banda(N. Sianchali 70th min); G. Zulu; R. Chinyengetere
T. Mukuruva; A. Mbara; S. Linyama; O. Mushure; E. Muroiwa; O. Mwerahari; G. Murwira; W. Mukanga (K. Bulaji 50th min); Q. Amini; R. Chitiyo; D. Chungwa.