Hwange on fire in Triangle trouncing
Hwange 5-3 Triangle United A FIRED-UP Hwange treated their fans to some breathtaking football to prevail over stubborn Triangle United in an eight-goal Castle Lager Premier Soccer League thriller at the Colliery Stadium yesterday.
Enterprising young Hwange playmaker Gift Mbweti stole the show with two late goals after the visitors had stunned the drum-beating home fans into silence with a fight back from 1-3 down at halftime to level the scores midway through the second half following a moment of inspiration by substitute Lameck Nhamo.
Nhamo, a surprise candidate for the bench in the first place, came on for Tichaona Mapungwana in the 47th minute and had a big say in Triangle’s second goal as Hwange defender Gerald Ndlovu turned his full bloodied effort into his own net in a desperate attempt to clear in the 67th minute.
Six minutes later the burly Nhamo brought Triangle on level terms by hammering home from the edge of the box after the Hwange defence had failed to deal with a loose ball.
With Triangle sniffing around for what would have been the biggest comebacks seen at the Colliery Stadium in recent years, Mbweti stole the show by slamming in two late goals in the last six minutes to stun the visitors.
Mbweti skilfully weaved his way past Donald Dzvinyai inside the box, leaving the defender with no option but to hack him down as he went for the kill in the 84th minute.
Referee Philani Ncube pointed to the spot and Mbweti sent Triangle goalkeeper Tapiwa Chilenga the wrong way and restore the coalminers’ lead.
Mbweti, who is playing the game of his life, beat the entire Triangle defence for pace before cleverly chipping the ball over the outdrawn Chilenga to put the icing on the cake for the home team on the stroke of fulltime.
Triangle had taken a third minute lead from the penalty spot after defender Gerald Ndlovu hacked down Marlvern Gaki in the box. Marvellous Mukumbi stepped up to send Hwange keeper Future Sibanda the wrong way.
The lead lasted only four minutes as Hwange drew level through a Gilbert Zulu strike after latching onto a Mbweti cross.
Six minutes later Zulu completed his brace when another Hwange attack found the Triangle defence sleeping on duty after his first attempt crashed against the crossbar and bounced back into play and he still had all the time to slot the rebound home.
In the 37th minute veteran defender Obert Moyo rose high to head home a curling Innocent Mucheneka free-kick to give the hosts what looked like a comfortable lead going into the breather.
Then came an inspired show by substitute Nhamo as the dreadlocked s t r i ker harassed the Hwange rear-guard through some mazy runs on the left flank, which led to the two goals that appeared to be a life saver for Triangle before Mbweti’s magic settled matters later on.
The win ensured the coalminers completed a double over Triangle, having edged them 1-0 at Gibbo Stadium in the reverse fixture.
Hwange coach Mebelo Njekwa admitted that Triangle had given them a huge scare.
“I am happy with the win as we fully utilised our chances in the game. We conceded some soft goals and almost brought them back into the match, but going forward it gives us encouragement having scored five goals,” said Njekwa.
His Triangle counterpart David Mandigora praised his charges for their fight.
“The boys did well to fight back from 3-1 down, but at the end of the day it was not our day and such is football,” Mandigora said. - @tobymandox