Mazarura wins it for How Mine

HARARE - If one were to look at the match and seek the pivotal moments that saw How Mine go through to the semi-final of the One Wallet Cup at the weekend, then one man stood out.

Goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura emerged as the hero for the Bulawayo gold miners as he stood between Highlanders and a place in the semi-final of new knockout tournament.

The big goalkeeper put a stellar performance as How Mine dispatched Highlanders in a thrilling 4-3 penalty shootout win at Ascot Stadium in Gweru on Saturday.

Mazarura was arguably man of-the-match as he kept he team in the match especially during regulation time when the tie ended 1-1.

Defender Felix Chidungwe had given Highlanders the lead with a long range shot while Godfrey Nguwodzawo had equalised for Chikurupati. Both goals came in the first half.

Highlanders were clearly the better team in regulation time as How Mine set deep only attacking on the break.

With this large chunk of possession Bosso enjoyed, they also had more of the scoring chances to win the match but they Mazarura a stumbling block.

The former Black Rhinos goalie pulled off a string of outstanding saves to keep How Mine in the match including a penalty save from Charles Sibanda shortly after the half time break.

Sibanda is a man on fine for Highlanders this season having scored 10 goals in the first half of the league campaign already.

When How Mine defender Edmore Muzanenhamo brought down Sibanda inside the box to give Bosso a penalty it should have been game over for the gold miners.

Mazarura, however, had other ideas when he dived to his right to push Sibanda’s penalty against the upright and back into play.

It was a crucial moment in the match since Highlanders were on top of the situation and had they gone in front they could have steam rolled over the their city rivals.     

With Mazarura in inspired form between the sticks, How Mine held on for dear life and the match had to be decided by a penalty shootout.

Having saved Sibanda’s spot-kick, Mazarura grew in confidence during the shootout he went on to save Valentine Ndaba’s spot kick while Welcome Ndiweni sent his effort over the bar.

After the match, How Mine coach Philani Ncube was full of praise for his goalkeeper for the match-winning performance.

“He is one of the senior guys in the team whom we look forward to especially in matches of this magnitude,” Ncube said.

“That penalty save was very crucial and if Highlanders had converted maybe we could have been talking something different. Bosso played well especially in the first half but he (Mazarura) kept us in the match.

“We are now looking forward to our next opponents in the tournament. This more like money game and we treat each game s it comes.”

The gold miners now go into the draw of the semi-finals together with Triangle, Chicken Inn and Dynamos.

With Mazarura in such fine form, How Mine will not be scared of any of the opposition they are likely to get when the draw for the semi-finals is conducted.

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