Herentals . . . . . . . . . . .  (1)1

Hwange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)2

Fifty-two-year-old Innocent Benza scored his first goal of the season, but could not prevent his club Herentals going down to a defeat in their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Hwange at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

The businessman who is vying for a parliamentary seat in this year’s general elections, found the back of the net with a deflected shot in the 23rd minute, just minutes after his teammate Davison Marowa had hit the post.

The rare goal from the club owner and the oldest player in the league, sparked wild celebrations from a sizeable number of home supporters, as the hosts deservedly took the lead to the halftime break.

Hwange coach Nation Dube made a triple substitution at the start of the second half, introducing Brighton Makopa, Blessing Ngoma and Tendai Muvuti which proved to be a masterstroke for the visitors who immediately took control of the contest.

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It was Makopa, who made the biggest impact when he levelled matters just after the hour mark for his fifth goal of the season.

With the match looking like it would end in a stalemate, Makopa provided an assist for Courage Sibanda to score the winner on 90th minute.

The victory, which was their first in Harare this season catapulted Hwange to ninth position on the log standings with 15 points — just three behind log leaders Highlanders.

For Herentals, this is the fourth match that they have failed to get a win.

They are on 11, with 11 points from their opening 11 matches of the campaign.

Dube said his gamble of keeping his star man Makopa on the bench only to introduce him later in the second half when “Herentals had been worn out” worked perfectly well.

His opposite Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva admitted his team was poor in the second half, and said it was “uncharacteristic” of his side to easily surrender a lead like they did yesterday.