The Sunday Mail
Mutare City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 2
Hwange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
MATCH officiating controversy once spoiled the day as Mutare City came from behind to claim only their fifth Castle Lager Premier Soccer League win of the season at Sakubva yesterday.
The win saw City stretch their unbeaten run to six matches after a string of draws.
Kudakwashe Gurure scored the winning goal on 89 minutes after Elisha Chimhaka had two minutes earlier cancelled out Gilbert Zulu’s 57th minute effort.
But it was Mutare-based referee Kudakwashe Majo who grabbed the headlines as the match was stopped for eight minutes as Hwange argued that their goalkeeper, Future Sibanda, had been fouled in the build up to City’s winning goal.
Majo, in consultation with assistant referee Waraidzo Mushonga stood his ground and gave the goal.
Hwange took the lead early in the second half through veteran forward Zulu, and for a while it looked like the visitors would make the long trip back home with maximum points.
However, it all went horribly wrong for Hwange, whose coach Mebelo Njekwa felt hard done by the match officials.
“This is why violence erupted in Bulawayo,” Njekwa said. “In my 15 years of coaching I have never talked about referees but here from the onset the decisions were dubious.
“They (match officials) are killing football in this country. Why are they creating results instead of letting the two teams decide the match?”
Shariwa was a relieved man.
“It is part of the game to fall behind or to lead,” he said. “It’s vital to redeem yourself quickly and after the Tsholotsho debacle we learnt our lesson and today we appeased our fans,” he said in reference to their last home game that saw Mutare City blow away a 3-0 lead before settling for a draw.