BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
HARARE CITY . . . (1) 2
TELONE . . . . . . . . .(2) 2
HARARE City came from behind to ensure a share of the spoils in a thrilling Castle Lager Premiership relegation battle against visiting TelOne at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
The goal that rescued the match came from an unlikely source — captain Marshall Machazane — who profited from a set up by Kuda Musharu in the referee’s optional time as Harare City poured forward in numbers in search of an equaliser.
Yet, it was the Sunshine City Boys who had the best opportunity early in the first half, but Ishmael Wadi fluffed a one-on-one opportunity with goalkeeper Raphael Pitisi.
The home team soon fell behind following a fabulous strike by King Nadolo on seven minutes.
The former Highlanders striker rounded Takudzwa Chimwemwe and set up David Temwanjira before pouncing on the return pass to tuck the ball into the nets.
Harare City refused to be cowed into submission and were level on the 24th minute courtesy of William Manondo, whose first time volley found the back of the nets with the defence guilty of ball watching.
Nadolo, however, returned to haunt Harare City in the 35th minute as he benefited from a break-down of communication between goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu and his defence to fire the ball into the net for his eighth goal of the season.
In the second half, Harare City could have added a second goal on 65 minutes, but Walter Mukanga’s free-kick crashed against the cross bar.
TelOne started to defend their lead and Harare City increased intensity with their high pressing game culminating in the equaliser by
Harare City coach Lloyd Chitembwe was happy to secure a point.
“I think it’s a well-deserved point. Our first half was good, we had good ball retention, but we lacked penetration in the final third,” he said.
“In the second half, we slowed down and gave them the opportunity and we conceded a goal that could have been avoided after a collision between the keeper and a defender.”
TelOne gaffer Rahman Gumbo said they had done their homework nicely and could have won the match.
“To be frank, I thought we could have won the match. We had done (everything right), but Harare City are in a relegation battle like us and did not give up,” he said.
“I will say tough luck to my boys. The relegation battle is still on.”