Bantu salvage point

BULAWAYO - Hosts Bantu Rovers had 17-year old Bukhosi Sibanda to thank when he rescued them from the jaws of defeat with a controversial penalty conversion in the dying stages of a bottom of the table clash against visiting Triangle.

The youngster’s effort cancelled out a second minute strike by Triangle’s Richard Kawondera but the equaliser came in dramatic circumstances as Sibanda had to make three attempts from the spot before the goal could be allowed.

Sibanda initially managed to beat Triangle keeper Ronald Mudimu all systems out in his first attempt but the match officials ordered a retake.

Mudimu then punched back into play Sibanda’s second attempt but the youngster was alert and tucked away the rebound.

A period of indecision then ensued as match referee Allan Bhasvi signalled for a goal while second assistant referee Rudo Nhananga signalled for an offside.

After consultations between the two match officials another retake was awarded and this time around Sibanda made no mistake and shot powerfully past a diving Mudimu.

And this time around a goal was given and the match went on to end in a stalemate.

After the match both sets of coaches complained about the match officiating with Bantu Rovers’ Methembe Ndlovu claiming that the Triangle goal should not have been given as the scorer Kawondera had been in an offside position when he received the pass that led to the goal.

Triangle coach Biggie Zuze bemoaned the fact that his team had prior to the Bantu penalty been denied a spot kick of their own when one of his players was clearly pushed inside the opposition’s penalty box.

The visitors got off to a flying start with Kawondera opening the scoring in the second minute when he beat Bantu keeper Takunda Mutanga at his near post after breaking through on the right flank.

Both teams then lost players to injuries with Bantu right back Lawson Nkomo being the first to exit with a pulled muscle and he was soon followed by Triangle’s Charles Rukwani who had to be ferried to hospital after suffering a head injury.

Bantu thought they had found the equaliser at the stroke of halftime but Tafadzwa Ngwena’s effort was correctly ruled out for offside by the match officials.

The equaliser finally came through with five minutes left on the clock after a goal bound Moses Majika had been brought down by two Triangle defenders inside the penalty box.

Both teams took their points tally to 14 points after yesterday’s stalemate.

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