BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Violent scenes marred the tightly-contested clash between relegation candidates TelOne and Herentals at Ascot Stadium yesterday.
Referee Todd Matenga was the villain as he stole the spotlight with a nightmarish display throughout the game, which ended one-all.
Matenga’s awful show prompted massive clashes between Herentals and TelOne officials at the final whistle, as the hosts bayed for his blood for denying them two penalty calls.
Nonetheless, it was the Students who opened the scoresheet on the 16th minute mark through goal minder Simbarashe Gondo from a penalty.
Gondo sent his opposite number the wrong way from the spot kick that was awarded after TelOne centre-back Frankson Bushiri impeded Wilmore Chimbetu in the box.
King Nadolo restored parity after the resumption of the second half with a powerful header from a sublime cross whipped in by Marvelous Chigumira.
Nadolo’s goal got the Wifi Boys buzzing, so much that they started launching attack after attack in search of a match winner, but Gondo was resolute between the sticks for Herentals.
The boiling point of the match came in the 79th minute when TelOne were denied what looked like a clear penalty after David Temwanjira was hacked down in the penalty box by Chimbetu.
The referee casually waved away the penalty call, much to the chagrin of the TelOne bench and their fans.
The draw saw the Wifi Boys continue with their awful run as they have now gone for 11 games without registering a win so much that the technical team have their jobs hanging in the balance.
It was TelOne technical manager Joel Lupahla who faced the media for the ritual post-match interview in the absence of head coach Jairos Tapera, who for the third game running remains unavailable.
He said: “I do not want to comment much about the referee’s officiating today, but I feel we were denied two penalties. The team is in a precarious position and what we need is fair play so that we can do our part in this game, but it’s part of the game,” said Lupahla.
His counterpart Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva was pleased with the result. “It’s a point gained away from home and I am happy with this result. We are in the right direction and I am hopeful that we will maintain our premier league slot.
“We could have won, but we conceded a soft goal, which is worrisome considering the way we defended. There is a lot work to be done for us to rediscover our winning formula,” he said.