Bantu Rovers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1)2
Harare City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1)3
OSBORNE Mukuradare grabbed a hat-trick before being sent off in injury time as Harare City beat Bantu Rovers 3-2 in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Hartsfield Ground yesterday.
Mukuradare thrust the visitors ahead in the 14th minute, grabbed his second five minutes after the break before completing his hattrick in the 79th minute.
Veteran defender Hebert Dick had equalised for Bantu Rovers in the 27th minute before Tafadzwa Kutinyu scored the home side’s second goal in injury time.
Mukuradare was sent off by referee Mandlenkosi Sibanda just before fulltime after a second bookable offence for time wasting.
He had earlier been cautioned for a foul which injured Bantu Rovers goalkeeper Takunda Mutanga who was replaced by Nkosilathi Mlalazi.
Harare City coach Masimba Dinyero was happy after collecting the three points.
“It was a good game, but there was bad officiating. Some of the infringements were questionable. I am happy with the performance of the team. We have to lift ourselves from the bottom of the log. There are chances of surviving relegation,” he said.
Having last won a league match in June, Bantu Rovers’ Methembe Ndlovu was disappointed with the result.
“It is disappointing: I don’t know what to say any more in these interviews. Maybe we are not good enough. We just have to accept that. We need to try to work harder to be better so we can be good enough. It is disappointing. We need to look at ourselves,” said Ndlovu.
Harare City got an early goal when Mukuradare fired past a diving Bantu Rovers goalkeeper from a free-kick just outside the arc in the 14th minute. City had been awarded a free-kick after Dick had brought down Martin Vengesai.
Dick made up for his earlier mistake when his tame effort beat Harare City goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanendengu. The former Warriors defender Dick capitalised on a scramble that had come from an Obadiah Tarumbwa corner-kick.
Five minutes after the breather, Bantu Rovers were again trailing as a Francisco Zekumbawire cross from the left was punched back into play by Mutanga and fell on the path of Mukuradare who made no mistake with a left footer.