Sweet revenge for Hwange
Hwange 1-0 Tsholotsho A FOURTH minute goal by enterprising Hwange attacking midfielder Gift Mbweti was enough for the coalminers’ revenge on a stubborn Tsholotsho in a cracking Castle Lager Premier League match at the Colliery Stadium yesterday.
Tsholotsho hammered Hwange 3-0 in the reverse fixture in Bulawayo before the mid-season break.
Hwange’s young sensational playmaker Mbweti will, however, be the first to admit that the he knew nothing about the goal, as defender Trust Nyabinde’s attempted clearance cannoned off the youngster to loop over outdrawn Tsholotsho goalkeeper Nickel Marichi.
The keeper had raced off his line in an effort to avert a sweeping Hwange attack, only for Nyabinde to hit his clearance against Mbweti and the ball looped over him.
The goal came moments after the visitors, who pressurised the home side throughout the game with some sleek passing, had missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring. B ruce Madamombe was allowed a free header inside the Hwange box, but the ball sailed inches over the bar with goalkeeper Future Sibanda beaten. Mbweti could have grabbed a brace in the 20th minute, but Marichi thwarted the youngster with a brilliant onehanded save. After that, Tsholotsho silenced the drum beating Hwange fans by pinning the coalminers in their own half with some relentless attacking football. Nyabinde almost turned from villain to hero in the 25th minute with a dipping free kick from the edge of the box that was tipped over the bar by Sibanda with the visitors’ bench already celebrating. Former Hwange midfielder Nkosana Siwela and MacClive Phiri also had clear cut chances to level matters before the break, but the ball would somehow not trickle into the net.
The script was the same in the second half, with the visitors harassing the coalminers from all angles.
With some luck, Hwange could have doubled their lead in the 63rd minute when Mbweti’s trickery on the right flank enabled him to lay a sitter for Newman Sianchali, whose rasping shot flew over the crossbar, with Marichi diving in desperation.
Tsholotsho introduced Denford Moyo and Ayanda Ncube for Siwela and Bruno Madanhire soon after Sianchali’s glaring miss, adding to Iziqholo ZeZhwane’s sting upfront, but the Hwange rearguard stood their ground in a nervy end to the game for the home team.
Hwange coach Mebelo Njekwa heaved a huge sigh of relief when referee Nkosikhona Moyo blew to end the game.
“Tsholotsho gave us a good run for our money as they fought throughout the match. We had good chances to wrap up the game, but such is football and we hope to continue well in the last half of the campaign,” said Njekwa.
His Tsholotsho counterpart Lizwe Sweswe was impressed by his charges despite the narrow loss.
“We played well as a team despite the loss. The performance by the boys today gives us confidence going forward as we lost by a goal, which came as a result of luck,” said Sweswe.
Lizwe Sweswe Teams Hwange: Mebelo Njekwa Tsholotsho:
Minister Makhosini Hlongwane