Allen Khumalo, Sports Reporter
Bantu Rovers 2-3 Hwange FC
BANTU Rovers suffered yet another loss in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League when they were downed by Hwange at Luveve Stadium yesterday.
A 44th minute penalty conversion by Justine Kaunda and goals by Nomore Chinyerere and Melvine Mekiwa handed Nation Dube’s boys maximum points following last week’s last minute heartbreak that saw them conceding a last minute sucker punch at the hands of Dynamos.
Rovers, who were under their new assistant coach Joseph Sibindi, got their consolation goals through a brace by captain Bukhosi Sibanda.
The match started on a high tempo, with both sides searching for an early goal.
Hwange got the early chance in the fourth minute when Mekiwa found his way into the box, but shot straight at Rovers’ goalkeeper Stephen Chimusoro.
Rovers responded a minute later when Newman Sianchali made a brilliant run on the right only to hit the side netting.
Sibanda then opened the scoring for the home side in the 29th minute when his shot went through the legs of Hwange goalkeeper Taimon Mvula.
Hwange were then awarded a penalty in the 44th minute when Gilbert Zulu was brought down inside the box by Shadreck Nyahwa. Kaunda stepped up and cancelled Rovers’ lead by sending Chimusoro the wrong way.
Halftime came with the teams deadlocked 1-1.
The first chance after the interval fell to Hwange in the 47th minute, but Kaunda’s header was cleared off the line by Dumisani Ndlovu.
Hwange took the lead for the first time in the 64th minute when Chinyerere headed home Shepard Gadzikwa’s cross from the right.
Sibanda levelled matters five minutes later from a free kick just outside the box after Gerald Ndlovu had fouled Obriel Chirinda.
In the last 10 minutes of the match, Hwange applied more pressure on Rovers, but they just couldn’t breach Rovers’ defence.
The home team finally succumbed in the third minute of the referee’s added time when Mekiwa lobbed the ball over Chimusoro, who was off his line.
Hwange coach Nation Dube believes the win has given his side the confidence they need following their agonising loss to Dynamos last Sunday.
“This has given us confidence that we can win anywhere. The last game against Dynamos was very painful to the boys and I think through this win they have redeemed themselves. We are now focusing on the fifth match at home because all our losses have been at home,” said Dube.
Rovers ‘assistant coach Sibindi said he believes his side still has room for improvement.
“We wanted to defend and try to catch them on the break, but unfortunately there were lapses in concentration here and there. The boys played well considering that we have four Under-20s in the team and for us as a development side, I think we are on the right track. I am sure with time they will be able to play very well and achieve better results,” Sibindi said.