Shabanie Mine ….(1)….2
IF there is one player that you can never write off, it’s Zvenyika Makonese.
In these trying times at Shabanie Mine in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League where they are fighting relegation, Makonese provides that assurance that the asbestos miners would not be relegated from the top flight.
And yesterday at Maglas, as Hwange pressed for a last-gap equaliser, the former Orlando Pirates defender defied his 37 years and headed in the insurance goal in the 82nd minute that gave Shabanie’s new technical director Jairos Tapera a winning start.
“I want to thank God for the victory. It feels good to win your first match. It was team work that we put in for the victory. The players gave it their all in the game. I want to thank the supporters and everyone associated with the club. They have been very supportive,” Tapera said after the victory.
Terrence Majo had scored the opening goal in the first half. It is, however, a result that owes a lot to the midfield brilliance of Rowan Nenzou.
And while Shabanie are not off the hook yet, they are now on 26 points, one off Triangle and Black Rhinos and with eight games of the season left.
Losing coach Nation Dube who had to do with a depleted squad without Rodwell Chinyengetere, David Boriwondo, Aleck Marime and Gerald Ndlovu, mourned the absence of his stars.
“We played with a depleted squad. There was little time to work on the combinations, but generally those who played today did a good job,” Dube said.
The hosts started the match on the front foot, but Xolani Ncube missed two glorious chances inside the opening 25 minutes after he was fed by Nenzou on both occasions.
Seven minutes before the breather Nenzou was fouled outside the box by Collen Muleya and Majo opened the scoring with a curling shot from the resultant free-kick.
Fifteen minutes into the second half Nenzou’s effort was a few inches wide with Timothy Sibanda in goal for Hwange a beaten man.
Eight minutes before fulltime Nenzou was fouled again by Phakamani Dube and from the dead ball Godknows Murwira’s cross was headed home by Makonese to give Tapera’s charges a comfortable win.