A BRACE from Collen Muleya handed Hwange an important win over visiting Highlanders in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at the Colliery yesterday.
By Tinashe Mungazi
Muleya, who came on in the second half, sealed the Bulawayo giants’ fate when he converted a cross from Justin Kaunda three minutes before the final whistle, having opened the scoring in the first half to sandwich Justin Kaunda’s 73rd minute strike.
Chipangano star Delic Murimba broke the ice in the tightly-contested first half when two minutes into the added time he broke through Bosso’s defence to utilise a Nathan Ziwini pass in the referee’s optional time.
Highlanders returned from the second half charged as barely two minutes later Charlton Simalonga broke through the right flank to fire a shot over the bar.
However, the introduction of Kaunda, who came in through an injury-induced substitution gave the coal miners the much-needed boost. A 73rd minute effort from Kaunda off a Ziwini pass gave relegation-threatened Chipangano a two-goal lead.
With Hwange charges’ confidence on a high, Highlanders’ defence had a hard time fending off Chipangano’s menacing duo of Kaunda and Murimba. At the other end, Ray Thaddeu Lunga’s scathing shot was stopped by energetic Chipangano goalie Collen Phiri.
However, it was Muleya’s persistence that paid off three minutes before the final whistle as he drove in the final nail on the Bosso coffin.
Hwange caretaker coach Bigboy Mawiwi was all smiles, describing the win as mission accomplished.
“We are not thinking much into the relegation battle because they are quite a number of teams who are in the matrix so we focus on our game. We really needed maximum points and I’m happy we managed to do so,” Mawiwi said.
His counterpart Elroy Akbay was shocked, describing his boys’ performance as poor and lacking merit.
“Everything was wrong from the attack to communication. I have no words for this. I’m pissed off,” he said.