Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HWANGE FC moved eight points clear of second-placed Tsholotsho in the Southern Region Division One League to edge closer to a Premiership return.
Four first half goals consisting of a hat-trick by the league’s leading scorer Gilbert Zulu and a strike by Craven Banda powered the coalminers to a 4-0 hammering of ZRP Bulawayo in Hwange.
The victory took Hwange’s tally to 62 points from 26 outings, while Zulu now has 19 goals.
Tsholotsho’s title dream took a huge knock when they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Makomo.
Hwange coach Nation Dube praised his players for being mentally strong and maintaining their focus.
“Imagine we had to kickoff at 3.55pm, 45 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time. My question is, at what time do you walk over a match in Division One. We got to the stadium at 1.30pm and did our warm-up only to wait for the opponents, who arrived late.
“That wait hurts players, it takes away their focus and I had to psyche the players and remind them to maintain their focus because we once lost a game because of disruptions caused by a late kick-off. I’m happy the players kept their cool and we managed to get four first-half goals before they could recover,” said Dube.
Hwange’s next match is an away trip to Bosso 90, followed by a home game against Tsholotsho. The coal miners will then play Mosi Rovers in Victoria Falls and cap the season with another derby against ZPC Hwange.
Tsholotsho will face unpredictable Zim Leopards, who seem to have hit good form by beating Bosso 90 2-1 on Saturday, followed by the Hwange clash at the Colliery Stadium in Week 28.
Tsholotsho’s last two games are against Toronto and Casmyn.
Meanwhile, Talen Vision and Indlovu Iyanyathela played to a 1-1 draw, while ZPC Hwange beat CIWU 1-0 in Bulawayo.
Saturday: Makomo 3-1 Tsholotsho, CIWU 0-1 ZPC Hwange, Indlovu Iyanyathela 1-1 Talen Vision, Casmyn 3-0 NRZ Leopards, Toronto 0-1 Moto Moto, Hwange 0-4 ZRP Bulawayo Province, Zim Leopards 2-1 Bosso 90, Mainline 0-0 Mosi Rovers