How Mine ………………………… (0) 2
Bayelsa United …………………..(0) 1
A Menard Mupera penalty in added time saved the day for How Mine as they edged Nigeria’s Bayelsa United FC in an exciting Caf Confederation Cup second round first leg tie at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
The game seemed to be headed for a 1-1 stalemate giving the West Africans a scoring draw advantage before their left-back Mutiu Adegoke brought down an attacking Morris Kadzola inside the box in added time and Eritrean referee Maeruf Kherseed pointed to the spot.
Mupera converted the spot-kick to seal the victory for the gold miners.
Bayelsa United, who looked stronger than the hosts had drawn first blood a minute into the second half through Bernard Okorowanta after he was set up inside the penalty box by Adegoke after a long searching cross from the right flank by Eric Frimpong.
That goal brought gloom to a handful of How Mine supporters, who braved the chilly weather to back the players before the gold miners displayed some beautiful football with a number of exchanges inside the Bayelsa penalty area. Xolisani Moyo spotted an unmarked Kadzola who unleashed a shot past goalkeeper Gideon Gambo.
How Mine coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube said winning at home was a big advantage for them, but pointed out that they wasted several chances. He said his players allowed the West Africans to get a goal away from home that could work against them in Nigeria next weekend.
“We missed a lot of chances, but we managed to keep our composure. We knew it was not going to be easy to win with a big margin. We knew this was a test of character. Winning at home was an advantage for us,” Ncube said after the match.
Bayelsa United coach Richard Bubagha, however, was not happy with the penalty awarded to How Mine by Kherseed.
“It was a nice game, but that ball was not a penalty. We were robbed.
“We will take our chances and we are going to nail them (How Mine) at home,” Bubagha said.
He said they have players that they reserved for the return leg and the whole technical bench of Bayelsa was actually celebrating after the match saying How Mine would have no chance when they get to Nigeria.
Okorowanta was the man who troubled How Mine and his effort was cleared off the goal line by the hosts’ captain Gilbert Banda, a minute into the game.
But How Mine could have used the flank of suspect left-back Adegoke to their advantage, but Mupera blasted the ball way off target after a defensive gaffé by Adegoke.
How Mine could have scored in the 16th minute after tightly marked Kuda Musharu made a break on the right and flighted a beautiful cross which was missed by an on-the-run James Chitereki.
Six minutes before the break, Musharu was at it again from the right, but his searching cross was punched away by Gambo and Thembani Masuku wasted the rebound.
Another Musharu effort was cleared off the line by Bayelsa skipper Junior Saloman with nine minutes remaining before full time.