CHIPANGANO safely steered off the relegation dragnet collecting three points following their big win over wounded Black Rhinos in a Castle lager Premiership match at the Colliery Stadium yesterday.
An opening goal by skipper Brighton Makopa in the second minute of play put a determined Hwange on track as they sought to stay clear of relegation. Makopa capitalised on an error by the Black Rhinos defence when he outpaced the goalkeeper to send the ball rolling into the net. The coalminers would make three more successive attempts within 10 minutes of play but it was Makopa dribbling before unleashing a rising shot that threw fans into a frenzy.
Rhinos defender, Steady Mudzengerere’s tackle on Kluivert Tshuma near the box earned him a yellow card while Chipangano failed to convert the freekick into a goal.
The miners continued to mount hot coals on the visitors as in the 24th minute Gift Gumbo unleashed a shot at goal which was deflected by goalie, Lenon Gonese with Shepard Gadzikwa failing to utilise the spill.
On 38 minute Black Rhinos’ attempt at goal was blocked following a brilliant save by Chipangano goalie, Nedrick Madeya. This was after Evans Katema dribbled past the Hwange defence lines before unleashing a scorcher which was deflected out of play by an alert Madeya.
Hwange’s double changes of Tshuma and Pritchard Mpelele in favour of Llyod Mutoma and Courage Sibanda turned the tide against the army side higher. Mutoma gave the defence a run for their money as he exploited Rhinos’ frailties. However, it was Makopa who in the 60th minute converted a pass from Sibanda into a goal through a header giving Hwange a two-goal edge.
A few minutes later Courage Sibanda made it 3-0.
When all seemed to have ended for the visitors, the army side was awarded a penalty after a foul on Dematsika in the box. However, it was not to be for Chiwunga as his penalty shot was saved by Madeya.
Hwange head coach, Nation Dube was ecstatic at the results which he argued were sought for in the crunch match.
“We are happy with the result we were actually gunning for the three points in order to steer clear of relegation. The boys put up a brilliant performance and we are confident of a bright finish.”
His counterpart, Saul Chaminuka said while his boys put up the best of their efforts they failed to convert numerous opportunities into goals.
“I came here with high expectations however it is our first time to lose here. We had opportunities which the boys failed to utilise. We will re-group as we have two more games to play and we still hope we can avoid relegation.”