Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
How Mine 1-2 Bulawayo City
TWO first half goals by Newman Sianchali and Ishmael Wadi were enough to secure maximum points for 10-man Bulawayo City FC as they moved four points clear of relegation.
Bulawayo City went into yesterday’s derby at Luveve Stadium hard-pressed for a victory to save their ship from sinking as they were only a point above relegation, sitting on position 14.
The win against How Mine moved them two places up the ladder, leapfrogging Yadah FC who drew 0-0 against Hwange at the Colliery Stadium and Harare City who take on championship hopefuls Chicken Inn at Luveve Stadium.
Bulawayo City and How Mine played the opening stages with high tempo, but it was the former who shot into the lead in the eighth minute when Sianchali beat the offside trap to beat the miners’ goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya.
A defensive lapse by How Mine’s right back Praise Tonha resulted in Bulawayo City winning a penalty after the defender pulled down Ishmael Wadi in the box. Instead of clearing the ball to safety, Tonha reluctantly tried to guide it for Diya but Wadi put pressure on the defender, beating him for pace before being pulled down.
Wadi then took the responsibility and doubled City’s lead from the penalty spot.
How Mine should have equalised just after the half-hour mark when Tsepo Ranthokoane unleashed a long range shot that was punched back into play by Bulawayo City’s goalkeeper Ndodana Sibanda. The miners’ striker Godfrey Nguwodzawo took a weak shot at goal from the rebound.
Sianchali held his head in disbelief when his curler from the edge of the box hit the crossbar with Diya cleanly beaten on the 45th minute.
How Mine returned from the break a more determined side, forcing their opponents back in their efforts to creep back into the game.
Bulawayo City were reduced to 10 players in the 69th minute when referee Philani Ncube flashed a red card to Zephaniah Ngodzo for a lunge on a How Mine player.
How Mine finally breached Bulawayo City’s defence in the 86th minute, getting their goal from Marvellous Mukumba, punishing their opponents’ defence which took long to clear the ball following numerous saves by Sibanda.
The Bulawayo City goalkeeper produced a last minute save, diving to his right to push to safety a Nguwodzawo header which was headed from the far post.
“This is a good win for us. We came to grind the result and we got it. I appreciate the hard work, the fighting spirit shown by the players especially in the first half. It’s still a long way to go and we will continue with our fight,” said Mandla Mpofu, Bulawayo City coach.
His How Mine counterpart Kelvin Kaindu said: “We paid for the mistakes we made in the first half but I think we came back from the break more determined. Today we rested most of our senior players because we need them for the Chibuku Super Cup semi-final match against Shabanie Mine at the weekend.
How Mine were without regulars like Milton Ncube, captain Makundika Sakala, Peter Moyo, Thembani Masuku, Timothy January and Pasca Manhanga among others.
How Mine: Munyaradzi Diya, Praise Tonha (Toto Banda, 51st minute), Brian Mbiriri, Stephen Myambabvu (Tanaka Chanengeta, 33rd minute), Frank Makarati, Nqobile Ndlovu, Adolf Muganyi, Marvellous Mukumba, Tinashe Makanda, Godfrey Nguwodzawo, Tsepo Ranthokoane
Bulawayo City: Ndodana Sibanda, Andrew Tandi, Zephaniah Ngodzo, Nyasha Mukumbi, Morris Kadzola, Rainsome Pavari, Innocent Kutsanzira, Trevor Ndlovu, Clive Rupiya (Humphrey Ncube, 73rd minute), Newman Sianchali (Mkhululi Moyo, 80th minute), Ishmael Wadi (Eddie Nkulungo, 90th minute)
Yesterday: Bantu Rovers 2-0 ZPC Kariba, How Mine 1-2 Bulawayo City, FC Platinum 2-0 Shabanie Mine, Chapungu 1-1 Ngezi Platinum, Hwange 0-0 Yadah, Dynamos 1-1 Tsholotsho FC
Today: Triangle United v Highlanders (Gibbo), Black Rhinos v Caps United (National Sports Stadium), Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve)
P W D L F A GD Pts
FC Platinum 29 16 11 2 32 14 18 59
Dynamos 29 17 7 5 48 22 26 58
Ngezi Platinum 29 17 6 6 48 26 22 57
Chicken Inn 28 16 4 8 29 18 11 52
Caps United 27 12 9 6 35 24 11 44
How Mine 29 12 7 10 27 30 -3 43
ZPC Kariba 29 11 7 11 27 27 0 40
Black Rhinos 28 10 7 11 32 27 5 37
Highlanders 27 10 7 10 26 25 1 37
Chapungu 29 9 10 10 20 23 -3 37
Triangle United 28 9 9 10 29 30 -1 36
Bulawayo City 29 10 5 14 31 37 -6 35
Harare City 28 9 7 12 26 22 4 34
Yadah FC 29 8 10 11 27 35 -8 34
Shabanie Mine 29 7 9 12 20 29 -9 31
Hwange 29 8 6 15 23 34 -11 30
Tsholotsho FC 29 3 12 14 17 38 -21 21
Bantu Rovers 29 4 4 21 25 60 -35 16