Black Rhinos' fine run halted

BULAWAYO - Black Rhinos’ barnstorming run in the Castle Lager Premiership came crashing down after they were handed an unlikely 2-0 defeat by battling How Mine yesterday.

The army side went into the game chasing their seventh win in 10 matches which would have seen them open a four-point lead at the top of the table but they were undone by strikes from Toto Banda and Kuda Musharu in either half.

Lot Chiwunga had equalised for Chauya Chipembere before the break but it was not enough to at least earn them a point.

It was only the second defeat for Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa’s charges following their loss to second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars on the first day of the season.

However, the result did not affect their position at the top of the table although they have played one more game than their rivals.

Mutizwa said:  “I am very disappointed, after working so hard during training. I’m not happy with the second goal, I think that was an offside but without taking anything from How Mine, they are a good team, they played so well.

“We are not demoralised by the loss at all, we will maintain the same spirit and I still maintain that we want to run away from relegation.”

The hosts enjoyed control right from the first whistle and it was not surprising when they took the lead just four minutes into the game when Banda received the ball inside the box before firing past Rhinos goalkeeper Hebert Rusawo.

Rhinos equalised when Chiwunga tapped into an empty net after connecting a cross from Milton Kureva following a beautiful build up which involved Donald Mudadi and Cliff Chitsamba just before halftime.

The second half saw both teams showing a lot of determination to win, but in the end it was the gold miners who had the upper hand.

How Mine were duly rewarded in the 79th minute after Musharu, who somehow appeared to be in an offside position beat Rusawo when he reacted quickly to a rebound after Milton Ncube’s shot had crashed against the upright.

How Mine coach Kelvin Kaindu was a relieved man after his side had failed to win in their last two matches.

“This is a well-deserved three points. I think we controlled the game from the beginning to the end,” Kaindu said.

“Our first attempt at goal we managed to get it right and I think that gave us confidence.

“We came back and managed to reduce the points for a team that is leading, I think it’s good for us.”

Meanwhile, a solitary Kelvin Madzongwe strike was all Bulawayo City needed to collect maximum points while compounding Hwange’s woes in a Castle Premiership match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

The win was Bulawayo City’s fourth of the season to take them to 14 points while for Hwange it was their sixth defeat of the season to leave them with a paltry eight points after 10 matches.

City were, however, lucky to walk away with maximum points having been far from convincing which their coach Mandla Mpofu concurred with.

“Not the best game, especially our playing style. We managed to grind a result which is important,” Mpofu said.

“Second half, we defended well when Hwange were coming at us from all angles. We told the boys that it was a must win match. The win is a morale boost for us going forward.”

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