How Mine . . . (0) 2 Bayelsa United . . . (0) 1.
A Menard Mupera penalty in added time saved the day for How Mine as they edged Nigeria’s Bayelsa United in an exciting CAF Confederation Cup second round first leg tie at Barbourfields yesterday.
By Fortune Mbele
The game seemed to be headed for a 1-1 stalemate, giving the West Africans an advantage before their left-back Mutiu Adegoke brought down an advancing Morris Kadzola inside the box in added time. Eritrean referee Maeruf Kherseed pointed to the spot and Mupera converted the spot-kick to seal the victory for the gold miners.
Bayelsa United, who looked stronger than the hosts, had drawn first blood a minute into the second half through Bernard Okorowanta.
That goal brought gloom to the handful of How Mine supporters, who had braved the chilly weather to back their boys. The gold miners however did not disappoint, with some fancy football that saw a number of exchanges inside Bayelsa penalty area. In one such move, Xolisani Moyo spotted an unmarked Kadzola who unleashed a shot past goalkeeper Gideon Gambo.
How Mine coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube said winning at home was a big advantage for them although they wasted several chances, allowing the West Africans to score an away goal. He said the away goal would work against them next weekend in Nigeria.
“We missed a lot of chances but we managed to keep our composure. We knew we were not going to win with a big margin. We knew this was a test of our character. Winning at home was an advantage for us,” Ncube said.
Bayelsa United coach Richard Bubagha however, was not happy with the penalty awarded to How Mine by Kherseed.
“It was a nice game but that ball was not a penalty. We were robbed.
“We will take our chances and we are going to nail them [How Mine] at home,” Bubagha said.
He said they had players that they had reserved for the return leg. the technical bench of Bayelsa was actually celebrating after the match saying How Mine had no chance when they got to Nigeria.
Okorowanta was the man who troubled How Mine although he had his effort cleared off the goal line by the host captain Gilbert Banda, a minute into the game.
How Mine could have used the flank of suspect left-back Adegoke to their advantage but Mupera blasted the ball way off target after a defensive gaffe by Adegoke.
How Mine could have scored in the 16th minute after tightly marked Kuda Musharu made a break on the right and flighted a cross which was missed by an on the run James Chitereki.
Six minutes before the break, Musharu was at it again from the right but his searching cross was punched away by Gambo and Thembani Masuku wasted the rebound.
Another Musharu effort was cleared off the line by Bayelsa skipper Junior Saloman with nine minutes remaining to full-time.