HERENTALS coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva hailed his charges’ character after second half substitute Tafadzwa Chitukutuku scored a last-gasp equaliser to ensure a share of spoils in this tense Premiership derby at Rufaro yesterday.
Kelvin Bingala scored the other goal for Mutiwekuziva’s side which had to twice come from behind after finding themselves down to Johannes Sibanda’s goals on both occasions.
Ironically, the last time Yadah played Herentals in a league match at the same venue last season, it was Chitukutuku again who came off the bench to score a quick-fire brace in time added on to force a draw between the two sides.
It was always going to be a scintillating duel between the two sides who were both searching for a first win and that both had not scored in their opening two matches made the encounter even more appetising.
Interestingly the last two occasions that these teams met in the league before yesterday, there was no winner between.
Yesterday’s game started in high tempo with Herentals threatening but it was Yadah who scored first through Sibanda who outsprinted the Students’ central defensive pairing of Blessing Maunganidze and Carlos Mavhurume to a loose ball before rounding off a hesitant goalkeeper Simbarashe Gondo.
But Bingala made sure the scores were level at half-time when he tapped in a Brighton Majarira low cross four minutes before the break to finish off a flashing move initiated by Tino Benza.
Both teams came from the break a bit cautious and it needed a moment of individual brilliance from Leroy Mavhunga to dribble past a thicket of Herentals defenders before releasing for Sibanda to score his second with 20 minutes remaining.
Yadah looked firm and ready to bag the maximum points until Maunganidze’s powerful header hit the upright and Tino Benza intelligently lobbed the rebound for Chitukutuku to slide home the leveller.
Mutiwekuziva hailed his men for their fight back.
“A great recovery from my boys but Tafadzwa (Chitukutuku) made the difference. He also did it last season particularly in added time when he scored twice against the same opponents. I think it was his fourth touch of the ball since being introduced,” said Mutiwekuziva.
“We just thought the match had been lost but we managed to regroup and score the equaliser.”
Yadah coach Genesis Mangombe blamed his charges for lacking the resolve to finish off the match and said it was a wake-up call for them to improve in the coming matches.
“In a game of football there are always disappointments but you just have to be man enough to come back and play the next assignment. You win some, draw others and obviously win some. That’s a game of football,” said Mamombe.
“We still need to have maturity. We lacked the attitude to finish the game off. We need to work on our concentration, attitude and character. It was our game and unfortunately we drew.” Mangombe said.