The Sunday Mail
Herentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
Bulawayo Chiefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
LANKY striker John Zhuwau struck early in the second half to help hosts Herentals stretch their unbeaten record against Bulawayo Chiefs in Castle Lager Premier Soccer League meetings to five games.
Perfect Chikwende had given Bulawayo Chiefs a first-half lead at the National Sports Stadium, finding the target shortly before the break.
But that lead lasted just five minutes into the second period when former CAPS United forward Zhuwau popped up with the leveller.
It is the third draw between Herentals and Chiefs.
Although they had to come from behind, Herentals were the first to settle, forcing Bulawayo Chiefs onto the back-foot.
The pressure could have paid dividends as early as the eighth minute when Prince Chama sent in a fine cross that found no takers.
Herentals continued probing the visitors’ defence and five minutes later, Chama released another cross to an unmarked Tinotenda Benza inside the box, but the young forward hurried his effort, failing to beat Takabva Mawaya in goals for Chiefs from close range.
Chiefs gradually found their way into the game and by the 15th minute they started making raids.
In the 17th minute, Obriel Chirinda set up Arthur Diego inside the Herentals penalty box but the latter’s powerful shot was dealt with by The Students’ goalkeeper Tafadzwa Chikosi.
Zhuwau could have handed Herentals the lead after 30 minutes off a free header after connecting with yet another Chama delivery but his effort just went wide.
It was not until a minute before half time that Diego combined well with Chirinda just outside the Herentals box before setting up Chikwende, who converted with ease to give the visitors the breakthrough.
Undeterred, Herentals were quick off the blocks after resumption, with Chama attempting a long-range effort, which also missed the target by a few inches.
The hosts were finally rewarded for their pressure on the hour mark when Chama beat the Chiefs defenders on the right flank before sending in a high cross, which was headed home by Zhuwau.
Chiefs came close to reclaiming the lead 10 minutes later when Chirinda received a through pass from Chikwende, only to send a tame shot at Chikosi.
The visitors coach Nilton Terroso was not impressed by the performance of his team but was happy to return to Bulawayo with at least a point.
“It was a difficult game for us and it was a match of low quality, and getting a point was important for us,” he said.
Herentals gaffer Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva also bemoaned his charges’ failure to convert chances that came their way.
“It was not the best of matches we had but again we managed to get a point, which is good for us, but converting chances remains our main worry. I feel that is an area we really need to work on.”