Hwange’s next tricky assignment

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Hwange have a tricky first round assignment against Sudanese squad El Amal Otbara. They meet the club on the weekend of March 23-24 with the first leg being played at home at the Colliery.

Hwange beat a youthful Jamhuri side 4-1 on Sunday at the Colliery to add to an emphatic
3-0 win away in Pemba on February 18, but El Amal could prove to be a tougher squad than the Zanzibaris, who play in a rather less competitive league.

Despite the 4-1 drubbing of Jamhuri on Sunday, the coal miners were not at their best and could have scored more than four goals, but they appeared to have taken a lackadaisical approach to the match, probably content with the 3-0 away victory.

Head coach Nation Dube admitted after the match on Sunday the first leg tie in Pemba was more impressive than the home game.

The strikeforce of Allan Tavariswa — playing his first competitive match for Hwange — and Fransisco Zvikumbawire was not as sharp and depended heavily on the experience of Ocean Mpofu, Farai Vimisayi, captain Rodwell Chinyengetere and Tonisani Sibelo in the centre.

Tavariswa was wasteful while Zvikumbawire seemed to lack fitness and missed the target on a few occasions — probably pointing to the need to have veterans Gilbert Zulu and Daniel Kamunhenga being thrown into the fray in the next encounter.

Like in first leg, goals came from the midfield with Mpofu grabbing a brace, Chinyengetere the fourth, while Tavariswa was the first to register his name on the scoresheet in the 25th minute after several chances had been squandered from the beginning of the match.

In the first leg, Vimisayi, Chinyengetere and defender Munyaradzi Mungadze scored for the coalminers.

Tawanda Mareya, Malvern Longwe and Oscar Lungu were introduced in the second half and had their feel of the continental tie, with the latter being the culprit after he blundered on a pass leading to Jamhuri getting their facesaver six minutes before full time through Suleiman Ali Nuhu.

It was a bad day for 2011 Castle Lager Premiership Footballer of the Year finalist Nkosana Siwela, although he provided the assist in the second goal for Chinyengetere.

Hwange’s defence featuring new signing Eric Chipeta, Mungadze, Boriwondo, Sibelo and impressive shot-stopper Petros Mhari appeared to be rock solid and Hwange would definitely have another wonderful season in 2012 after ending last year on position four to earn a slot in the Confederation Cup.

But technical manager Zambian Tennant Chilumba and Dube still have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks before they host El Amari. They will have to definitely beat them at home and avoid conceding any goals if they nurse hopes of progressing to the second round of the Confederation Cup.