CHAPUNGU United and Black Rhinos lit up Zvishavane with a thrilling stalemate in a Castle Lager Premiership football match at Mandava yesterday.
Gweru-based side Air Force of Zimbabwe side Chapungu are temporarily using the stadium in Zvishavane as their home ground awaiting the completion facelift.
Chapungu came twice from behind to ensure a share of spoils against army side Black Rhinos in a match they both showed they can be surprise packages this season.
Moses Demera and Masimba Mambare were on target for Rhinos but all their efforts were cancelled out by Brighton Mugoni and Ian Nyoni who replied for the home side.
Chapungu started the campaign on fire with a convincing 5-0 drubbing of Bulawayo Chiefs at Mandava last weekend and yesterday’s result means that they are now on four points out of a possible six.
Rhinos last weekend drew against Bulawayo giants Highlanders and after yesterday’s game they remained unbeaten in two games with two points.
The visitors surged ahead after 17 minutes when Demera headed home Farai Banda’s cross.
Five minutes later the army side was asserting themselves into the contest when former Dynamos striker Francisco Zekumbawire’s rising shot crashed against the woodwork.
Ten minutes after the opening goal, Mugoni equalised for the airmen when he tapped in to level the scores after he was exquisitely fed by Allen Tavarwisa who had done some beautiful work on the left.
After half an hour of action, Mambare capitalised to give the visitors another lead, firing beyond Talbert Shumba who had failed to convincingly deal with an earlier effort.
Five minutes later the airmen were refusing to be cowed into submission and Nyoni was well positioned to fire home an intelligent rebound for another equaliser.
After the breather Chapungu were the better side asking all the questions following the tinkering of the engine room by coach Rodwell Dhlakama.
The airmen will feel they deserved full points but were not clinical enough to bury their fellow service men as Black Rhinos goalie Ashley Reyners produced a top drawer save right at the death to deny Nigel Hunga’s goal bound effort.
Chapungu coach Dhlakama said his team is still work in progress but expressed satisfaction that their progression is positive.
“We have started the campaign very well, though the team is not yet there I am happy with where we are at the moment.
“It was a good game of football and a point is not a bad result, focus is now on the next game and we want to work for maximum points.
“Everyone loves to play in front of their home supporters and it would have been good for us if we were playing in Gweru,” said Dhlakama.
Black Rhinos coach Herbert Maruwa commended his men for a good game and was happy that goals are coming.
“It was a good game and the good thing is that we managed to score first the only problem is that we failed to defend our goals.
“It is not easy to build a team but we are in the right direction and the good thing is that the goals are coming,” said Maruwa.
Chapungu: T. Shumba, E. Chitauro, H. Mugoniwa, C. Kwaramba, B. Mbavarira, E. Muzanenhamo, I. Nyoni, G. Mleya (N. Hunga, 50th min), A. Tavarwisa (M. Nyawuyanga. 87th min), B. Mugoni, X. Ncube (P. Marufu, 50th min).
Black Rhinos: A. Reyners, J. Mkombwe, F. Banda, B. Homora, A. Tandi, G. Saunyama, W. Taderera, M. Mambare (H. Chimutimunzeve, 81st min), T. Sibanda (E. Chigiji, 50th min), M. Demera, F. Zekumbawire (W. Kapinda, 63rd