Bantu Rovers . . . (0) 1
Shabanie Mine . . . (3) 4
BY Sukoluhle Mthethwa
BANTU Rovers “associate coach” Methembe Ndlovu conceded that their stay in the top flight league is over when his side lost 4-1 to Shabanie Mine in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Hartsfield Ground yesterday.
Wellington Kamudyariwa, Michael Mageja and Xolani Ncube were on target for Shabanie Mine in the first half before Ncube returned to haunt the home side in the second half with yet another goal in the 78th minute.
Bantu Rovers got their consolation from Teenage Hadebe in added time. Despite the win, Shabanie Mine remained on position 11 with 32 points from 26 games while Bantu Rovers are second from the bottom with 21 points from the same number of games.
Ndlovu said they could not talk about survival at this stage of the league.
“We are very disappointed we started off poorly and made too many individual mistakes. I don’t want to point fingers though.
We played well in the second half but it was too late.
“It is finished. We don’t know if we can still survive. I don’t know if we can still survive mathematically but we would need too many favours even if we win our remaining games. This is not the end of the world. Being relegated is not the end of the world not by any stretch of imagination,” he said.
Shabanie Mine coach Jairos Tapera was happy with the points collected.
“It was a very good win. We needed to win at all costs. Winning against Bantu Rovers gives us a direction on where we are going in terms of surviving relegation. This was an important win,” he said.
Kamudyariwa opened the scoreboard for Shabanie as early as five minutes into the game when Mageja sent through a pass after receiving the ball from Ncube.
With Bantu Rovers still trying to level the scores Mageja shot past diving Bantu Rovers goalkeeper Takunda Mutanga from a Ncube cross in the 22nd minute.
Bantu Rovers rightback Master Mlangeni was kept busy by Ncube in the match and Shabanie Mine got their third goal four minutes later.
Ncube was rewarded when his shot beat Mutanga after a fine run by the Shabanie Mine striker.
An unmarked Ncube kept his cool to fire past a diving Mutanga in the 78th minute after a good cross by Allen Tavarwisa. With the match seemingly ending 4-0, Bantu Rovers defender Hadebe grabbed the consolation in added time when he unleashed a shot that beat Shabanie Mine goalkeeper Victor Twaliki.