MUTARE City’s survival hopes received a major boost with a-come-from-behind victory over Shabanie Mine in a relegation scrap at Vengere Stadium in Rusape yesterday.
BY HENRY MHARA IN RUSAPE
The hosts got full value for the victory after Brian Chinhoyi’s 35th minute goal cancelled out a seventh minute Nigel Papias effort for Shabanie Mine before Billy Vheremu secured the win five minutes after the half-time break.
The victory ended a six match winless run for City who remain bottom of the log standings, but now have the same number of points with relegation-threatened fellows Shabanie Mine and Mutare City, all at 15 points.
For Shabanie Mine, this is a worrying result as they have gone seven matches without a win and their survival hopes are getting slimmer by each passing game. They travel to Ngezi Platinum on Wednesday, while City go to Bulawayo Chiefs on the same day.
City coach Matsika Ndega was happy that his boys managed to recover from an early setback to post a victory, the team’s third this season. He is hopeful that his side could still survive relegation.
Shabanie Mine coach Alexio Sigion is a worried man, and described the team’s situation as precarious.
It was his side, though, that started brightly and deservedly hit the front when an Fac Platinum loanie Papias rose the highest to head home from a corner kick.
Sigion’s men felt some justification that they should have been even given a penalty moments later when Malvin Moyo’s stretched hand blocked a goal bound shot, but the referee was not convinced and waved play on.
City pushed for an equaliser and after missing some good chances, they finally hit the target just after the half hour mark.
A long clearance by Gift Jimu was controlled well by Chinhoyi who shielded the ball well from a defender before curling it into the nets.
The home side finished the first half strongly and they carried the momentum into the second half.
They doubled their advantage five minutes after the break when Piniel Gumbo’s cross was glanced past Biggie Temera in goals for Shabanie Mine.
The visitors — second from the bottom on the log standings — were posing little danger, but they almost snatched an equaliser on 82nd minute, only for Papias’s shot to be kept out by the upright.