Hwange ease relegation worries

Chipangano arrived in Bulawayo a few hours before the match but were undeterred by the travelling, picking up valuable three points on the road.

HWANGE eased relegation worries after dismissing Bulawayo Chiefs in a captivating Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Luveve Stadium yesterday.

Chipangano arrived in Bulawayo a few hours before the match but were undeterred by the travelling, picking up valuable three points on the road.

Two minutes into the match, Courage Sibanda put Hwange ahead from inside the penalty area after being set up by veteran Pritchard Mpelele with a back-heel.

Mpelele doubled Hwange’s advantage in the 33rd minute, breaking loose with The Ninjas hoping for an offside flag which was never raised.

The veteran utility player made no mistake, drawing goalkeeper Issa Ali off his line, before easily slotting the ball into the net.

With the victory, visiting Hwange are now eighth on the log with 34 points after swapping positions with Chiefs who are a rung lower with 32 points.

In their last tie, they edged Highlanders 1-0 at home having previously travelled to defeat Yadah.

Hwange goalkeepers' coach Edmore Sibanda said the team is still fighting to avoid the chop.

“We are playing well and trying to get maximum points from every game that we play and the boys are showing that they can do it. We have average players but they are doing it, having brought in just three or four players that have Premier League experience. We scored first and that was what we needed then we said let's defend what we have got. We need to collect as many points as we can because we are still in the relegation fight,” Sibanda said.

For Chiefs, coach Johanisi Nhumwa was visibly disappointed.

“The approach to the game was very poor. It’s just unfortunate, but it's part of the game. That is what happens when complacency creeps into your team,” Nhumwa said.

It was Chiefs who dominated the first half with the marauding league leading scorer Obriel Chirinda as well as Farau Matare troubling the Hwange defence, but they could not convert their chances upfront.

Hwange could have scored the third before the end of the first half, but striker Sibanda skied his effort from close range.

Nhumwa brought in Billy Veremu and Dalubuhle Dlodlo for Nixon Gama and Matare, who changed the complexion of the game, but the goals remained elusive.

In the 70th minute, Chirinda watched his header narrowly miss the target from a Veremu cross on the right with the Hwange defence consistent in frustrating Chiefs.

It ended with the hosts on the receiving end and they will seek better fortunes this weekend.


Bulawayo Chiefs: I Ali, K Sibanda (P Shoko 77'), M Hativagoni (A Ncube 77') N Gama (B Veremu (60'), M Msebe, O Chirinda, M Mkolo, D Phiri, M Gasela, F Moyo, F Matare (D Dloldlo 60')

Hwange: N Madeya, K Shiyandindi, C Nkomo (J Chivasa 74'), B Rendo, G Goriyati, S Sithole, P Mpelele (B Ngoma 74') S Gadzikwa, T Muvuti, L Sibanda, C Sibanda

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