'Hand of God' goal gives Dynamos priceless win

Zimbabwean football fans cheer on their team Aaron Ufumeli/EPA

Marshal Machazana scored a last gasp 'Hand of God' goal to fire relegation threatened Dynamos to a priceless 2-1 win over Black Rhinos at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

Valentine Kadonzvo had given the Harare giants the lead on 23 minutes with his second goal in as many matches, only for right-back Tapiwa Sibanda to level matters with a brilliant free-kick late in the second half.

Then, with the match deep in injury-time, the Gods smiled on Dynamos as they won a corner-kick and the stadium erupted with fans spontaneously clamouring for a winning goal.

Machazana obliged, but while most of the spectators noticed that he had used his hand to convert, the match officials awarded a goal and Dynamos went home with a full set of points that could go some way towards easing their relegation worries.

The former champions climbed one place up the standings into 11th place, three points above the relegation places.

With FC Platinum all but assured of a second consecutive title after opening up a seven-point lead over second-placed Ngezi Platinum following their 1-0 win at Nichrut on Saturday, much of the drama is now centred on Dynamos' battle to wriggle their way out of the relegation quagmire.

And although there is still plenty of hard work ahead, coach Lloyd Chigove will be relieved that his team's next three matches are in Harare against Herentals, Triangle and Mutare City.

Chigove will hope that Dynamos would have secured their Premiership status by the time they visit fellow relegation candidates Nichrut on the final day of the season.

On Sunday, there were some passages of fluid play from Dynamos, who went into the tie without several of their regulars due to suspensions and injuries.

Eighteen-year-old Tatenda Muringani was given a rare start at right-back and enjoyed a fine afternoon. The versatile Peace Makaha switched to left-back while midfielder Gift Saunyama was dropped into central defence.

Former Zimbabwe Kingstone Nkhata was also handed a start, but the team struggled to create clear-cut chances upfront and it needed some divine intervention to save avoid another frustrating afternoon.

Elsewhere, it turned out to be a disastrous day in the office for Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu, whose team lost 2-1 to neighbours Bulawayo City for their fifth defeat in the last nine matches.

City went into the match needing an outright win to keep alive hopes of surviving relegation, and they must have feared the worst as Tendai Ndlovu headed Bosso into the lead on seven minutes.

However, City striker Ozias Zibande punished his former employers with an equaliser soon after the break, and Sipho Ndlovu then headed home the winner midway through the second-half.

While Highlanders dropped one place down into seventh in the standings, Mark Harrison's Harare City were on the rise as teenage star Tatenda Tumba struck late on to secure a 1-0 win over Shabanie Mine.

Tumba, who also provided an assist in his team's 1-1 draw against Black Rhinos last week, has been among the league's most outstanding players this term.

The result means bottom-placed Shabanie Mine are the first team to be officially relegated the top-flight this season, with City climbing into fifth position on 45 points.


ZPC Kariba 1-0 Caps United
Ngezi Platinum 0-0 Chapungu
Nichrut 0-1 FC Platinum
Chicken Inn 0-1 Bulawayo Chiefs

Dynamos 2-1 Black Rhinos
Highlanders 1-2 Bulawayo City
Shabanie Mine 0-1 Harare City
Triangle United 0-1 Herentals
Mutare City Rovers 0-2 Yadah