Hwange on fire in Tri­an­gle trounc­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - To­bias Man­doreba in Hwange

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

Me­belo Njekwa

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