Herentals 1-2 Hwange
HWANGE ruined Herentals’ Africa Day celebrations when they cancelled a rare goal by the Students’ club owner Inno-cent Benza and claimed a sweet victory in this Castle Lager Premiership match which they had strategically planned to take advantage of the presence of an aged forward to their advantage.
The visitors introduced their key players in the second half and their top goal scorer Brighton Makopa immediately got the equaliser as determined Chipangano produced a hearty second-half performance.
Interestingly, aspiring Member of Parliament Benza had scored the opener in the 18th minute for the hosts when he converted from a free-kick rebound.
Benza had taken the free kick and after the clearance was cleared back to his path, the 51-year-old curled the ball with precision as it went in from an unlikely position.
Benza celebrated wildly but his efforts counted to nothing at the end of the day. He watched in agony in the second half, after he was substituted, as his team crumbled and let in two goals.
Hwange coach Nation Dube said his strategy worked against Herentals. Dube made a triple substitution in the 62nd minute, introducing strikers Makopa and Tendai Muvuti as well as midfielder Blessing Ngoma just three minutes after Benza was replaced by Milton Chimedza.
With just seven minutes on the pitch, Makopa beat his marker Christian Nyatondo and made a spirited run to slot past Herentals goalkeeper Takudzwa Chikosi, for his fifth goal of the season.
The Hwange striker turned provider in the 89th minute when he passed to Courage Sibanda, who made no mistake.
It was party time for the visitors who felt there was no urgency from their hosts who they accused of employing delay-ing tactics, especially with the ball boys’ movements, when they were still in the lead.
Dube described the victory as sweet while his opposite coach said it was a poor show. Going into this match, Chipangano had two consecutive goalless draws against CAPS United and Triangle. They had also suffered two defeats at the hands of Bulawayo Chiefs (0-3) and Highlanders (1-0).
“It’s a sweet one.
“We are happy for the boys, coming from the defeats and draws and then you get something. It means you are going somewhere.
“From our game plan, I think it worked. We said ‘Let’s use the younger boys when the old man is still in there.
“Let them run them down and then you saw that Brighton was outside, so we knew that they had planned for him.
“So we said “our first three let’s put them out” and then when we introduced them and you saw what happened,” said Dube.
A visibly disappointed Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva hailed the visitors for the right attitude. Mutiwekuziva felt his team’s defence has gone soft this season as they have needlessly been conceding goals.
“A poor show, very poor from us today. When you take the lead and the opponent comes from behind to win the match, it’s very uncharacteristic of Herentals Football Club.
“Things that we have never done in our previous seasons but things that have just resurfaced this season. You can re-call against Chicken Inn we took the lead and they also came from behind.
“We did not defend very well or we were actually not defending very well this season because we have been used to more clean sheets than what we are doing as a team.
“We have to work very hard to try and rectify all these problems that we are facing,” said Mutiwekuziva.
Herentals: T. Chikosi. C. Nyatondo. P. Chota (T. Jimu 79th minute) G. Chinobva. G. Mukambi. C. Gobvu (W. Kapumha 58th minute). A. Phiri (J. Zhuwawu 79th minute). T. Benza. I. Benza (M. Chimedza 58th minute). D. Marowa. Z. Ru-guchu
Hwange: N. Madeya. E. Zulu. K. Shiyandindi (B. Ngoma 62nd minute) G. Gumpo. B. Mlotshwa. M. Mlilo (C. Nkomo 39th minute), S. Gadzikwa. S. Sithole (T. Muvuti 62nd minute). C. Sibanda (J. Mumpande 90th minute), C. Tshuma (B. Ma-kopa 62nd minute). C. Sibanda