How Mine pip Monomotapa

BULAWAYO - Debutants How Mine bounced back from last week’s 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Castle Premiership pacesetters FC Platinum to collect maximum points against Monomotapa here yesterday.

Simon Njeleza and Timothy January were on target for the gold miners in the first half while the visitors got their face saver from Zvikomborero Biseki with two minutes left on the clock.

The home side made their intentions clear from the onset and January saw his cheeky chip being tipped for a corner by the visitors’ keeper Jonathan Zvaita in the fourth minute.

And a minute later the exciting Simba Sithole hit the upright from the edge of the penalty box but the Monoz defenders managed to clear their lines.

Sithole was a constant threat to the visitors’ defence in the early stages and had a couple of opportunities to grab the lead for How Mine but his header went wide on 24 minutes before his shot hit the side net on 28 minutes.

The forceful striker then turned provider for his strike partner Njeleza, who shot wide with the goal at his mercy on 29 minutes.

It took just a few seconds for Njeleza to make amends after he was gifted with a glorious chance from the goal kick that arose from his woefulmiss.

Monoz goalkeeper Zvaita’s poorly taken goal kick fell for the former Hwange and FC Platinum striker, who made no mistake from close range to give his side a well deserved lead.

The home side’s second goal came on 38 minutes when midfieder January finished off a move that was started by the lanky Thandazani “Malele”Ndlovu.

Ndlovu exchanged passes with right back Brighton Choto before the later sent in a long ball towards January, who controlled before letting loose with his weaker right foot.

The home then took their foot off the pedal in the second half and had to endure a nervy finish as Monomotapa threatened to stage a late comeback with second half substitute Biseki pulling one back with two minutes left on the clock.

How Mine keeper Nonjabulo Notice Dube was at fault for the visitors’ face-saver as his rushed goal kick rebounded on Biseki and the striker reacted quicker than the home side’s defenders to slot the ball home.

How Mine head coach Philani Mabhena expressed joy at his charges’ positive response after their big loss to FC Platinum.

He said: “It’s a very important win for us as we fight to maintain our status in the league. I am very happy with the reaction of the boys after the last game that we played but we have to work on our mental strength because at times we were not patient enough to finish the chances that we created.”

His Monomotapa counterpart Biggie Zuze blamed his side’s defeat on defensive blunders.

“It was a good game but we lost the game in the first half because of some defensive errors. We managed to come back stronger in the second half although we left it a bit too late,” Zuze said. - Sakheleni Nxumalo

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