Thupeyo Muleya in Beitbridge
BATTLING Tsholotsho continued with their desperate fight to avoid relegation when they registered their maiden win at Dulivhadzimo after edging fellow strugglers Shabanie Mine in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie here yesterday.
It was the first time that Iziqholo ZeZhwane won since moving base from Luveve in Bulawayo to the border town this season.
Tsholotsho went into the match seeking nothing short of three points and Darlngton Dodo’s men were in high spirits after stunning Bulawayo giants Highlanders at Barbourfields on Wednesday.
Tsholotsho goalkeeper Marino Chang put the home side in the lead in the first minute when he converted a penalty following a handling offence by Shabanie’s Nyasha Mpofu.
Wilson Mupasiri levelled matters for the visitors in the ninth minute when he pounced after Tsholotsho defenders had failed to clear their lines.
Super substitute, Thabani Moyo, who came in the 75th minute for the jaded Lucky Vundla capped Iziqholo’s win when he unleashed a powerful shot two minutes from time.
Moyo was set up by the nimble-footed Lucky Nyathi outside the 18-yard box.
Yesterday’s win was sweet revenge for Tsholotsho, who suffered a 0-1 defeat to the Zvishavane-based side in the reverse fixture at Maglas in April.
Despite winning their second match in a row, and sitting on 15 points from 23 games, Tsholotsho still have to move mountains to survive the dreaded chop.
Dodo is happy with their progress.
“This is the beginning of good times, we must continue picking up vital points, though we have to take each game as it comes.
“We have managed to get the boys into the right frame of mind and we are looking to continue from where we left off when we play Harare City away in our next fixture,’’ Dodo said.
Prior to yesterday’s match, Shabanie team manager Taku Shariwa was hit with a empty bottle on his head by unknown assailants as he was refuelling his vehicle en-route to Beitbridge.
“Besides being injured, I decided to come to this match to motivate the boys. A draw could have been a fair result for us. After consecutive defeats, a point away from home could have been good for us.
“We tried to hold on to a draw, but conceded in the last minutes of the game. We were in control of the game in the second half, but failed to hold our line,” said Shariwa.
Tsholotsho: M Chang, X Ndlovu, M Phiri, T Nyabinde, A Chaka, T Tavengwa, M
Mushonga, T Moyo (L Vundla 75Th min), A Ncube, L Nytahi, N Mpala.
Shabanie Mine: P. Moyo, J. Nyabinsde, Z. Makonese, A. Dzumbunu, N. Mpofu, W. Mupasiri, F. Mupasiri, M. Murimi (T. Ajana 70 min), L. Manyande, T. Chimoyo, W. Taderera.