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The coal embers continued glowing brightly as Hwange produced a dazzling second half performance to break Shabanie Mine’s resilience in a cracking match at the Colliery yesterday.

Shabanie were resolute and stubborn only to crumble like a deck of cards in a four-minute spell midway into the second half, conceding two quick goals which completely deflated their ego.

Their Hwange-born goalkeeper London Zulu had kept the visitors in the game with some spectacular saves before Evans Rusike broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute after latching onto a clever pass by Alec Marime before unleashing a stinger which gave Zulu no chance.

Marime had come to the end of a lovely run by speedy midfielder Tafara Chese.

Moments before Rusike’s opener, Hwange’s Marime had his goal disallowed by the heavily built referee Mlindeli Ndebele for a push on a Shabanie defender before he pulled the trigger.

With Shabanie still wondering what had hit them, the coalminers added another goal four minutes later when substitute Gilbert Zulu rose high to connect a delicate cross from young right back Phakamani Dube, who was fielded in place of national team defender Eric Chipeta.

With the visitors trying to fight back to pull the game out of the fire through some donkey work by midfielder Daniel Chakupe, it was Hwange instead, who got the opportunity to seal their win two minutes from time through a goal by Chese.

Some quick exchanges of passes between Rodwell Chinyengetere and Zulu in midfield resulted in the latter cleverly flicking the ball for the on-rushing Chese who used his pace to outrun the Shabanie defence, rounded up the outdrawn goalkeeper Zulu before blasting into an empty net.

Away from the second half slumber, Shabanie produced a determined opening half performance in which their midfield had a slight edge over their aersaries only to be let down by the final pass.

Hwange had a glorious opportunity to open the scoresheet on the quarter hour mark after the lanky Marime broke loose on the right flank before laying a sitter for Rusike who miscued his effort from some few metres out.

Chakupe then took control of the midfield but the beneficiary of most his passes Marvellous Dikinya let him down with some rushed efforts at goal.

Then came Shabanie goal- minder Zulu’s show in between the posts when he prevented an avalanche of Hwange goals starting in the 25th minute when he acrobatically went airborne to tip a ferocious Chinyengetere free kick for a corner kick.

Five minutes later Marime thought he had got the breakthrough when he unleashed a hard and low volley which was again pushed out by Zulu for another corner.

On the hour mark Marime was up in the air already celebrating his cheeky effort only for Zulu to again stun everyone in the stadium as he summoned all his reflexes to smother the effort.

The hosts kept pressing until the breakthrough which 18 minutes from time.

Hwange goalkeepers’ coach Chenjerayi Dube praised his lads for a good show in the second half.

“It was tough especially in the first half but I am happy the job was done in the second half. I am very happy for the three points which came on the home turf,” he said.

John Phiri, the Shabanie head coach, blasted his boys for sleeping on duty during the last half.

“I am disappointed by such lapses of concentration which I saw today. We have to go back to the drawing board and rectify the mistakes.

“Besides I had four changes due to injury but I have realised that the replacements are not up to scratch.” Phiri said.

Source : The Herald