FRANCISTOWN: Ocean Mpofu’s last minute spot kick saved TAFIC the blushes as they drew 2-2 against Bulawayo’s Highlanders in a Jubilee match played at the Francistown Sports Complex on Saturday.
Siyinqaba were invited for Francistown City’s 120 years jubilee celebrations, but the chilly temperatures saw most fans stay away.
The first half was played at a snail’s pace with both sides enjoying possession but without meaningful attacks. TAFIC failed to link passes going forward and the neighbours were happy to hold back in their own half. TAFIC’s one shot on target that lacked threat summed up the first half.
Siyinqaba turned on the heat after the break. Three minutes from the dugout they were rewarded.
Madzinakhe Dlamini stole the ball from defenders on the left side at 45 yards, then drove two steps and surprised the goalkeeper who was off the line with a dinging shot into the far post.
In a similar fashion three minutes later, Brain Jarauza pounced into the ball following some confusion in the home defence. He moved to the bye line and sent a sweeping cross that eluded all in the packed 16-yard box.
TAFIC worked themselves back into the game, their first attack following neat interchanges and a miscued effort by Kemoreng Batisani took a deflection on the defender for a corner on the hour mark.
Golebaone Baopedi’s corner kick was well met by Bokamoso Mbambo who redirected to the far post to level matters.
Siyinqaba regained the lead in the 81st minute with Ozias Zibande’s spectacular drive from 30 yards, beating the goalkeeper to the bottom left corner.
In the dying minutes
Highlanders coach, Melusi Sibanda said he experimented with his youngsters. “We had mostly young players that play in our Division One team, but they impressed. Our combinations suffered because we mixed with some senior players and they did not have enough time to train together.”
TAFIC’s Elias Chinyemba who was also impressed, said the game helped in preparation for their Tuesday fixture against Black Forest.
“We gave our fringe players enough time and they impressed. I have identified about four that will definitely get a run against Forest. I am happy about the performance,” he said.
TAFIC: Abdenico Morapedi (Lucas Motsewanageng), Bokamoso Mbambo (Ocean Mpofu), Golebaone Baopedi, Molebatsi Kangwangwani, Ronald Selemani, Michael Murirwa (Bose Ramontsho), Uyapo Thibathue, Roadney Buka (Kemoreeng Batisani), Kawashi Makai (Thato Mosweu), Upoga Dakesha, Thompho Marman
Highlanders: Prosper Matutu, Nkosana Ndlovu, Mbongeni Ndlovu (Denzel Khumalo), Vincent Moyo, Brain Jarauaza, Adrien Silla, Muzinakhe Dhlamini (Mandlankosi Mnkandla), Percy Maphosa, Thabo Lungit, Ozias Zibande
Cautions: Mpofu, Marman, Silla
TAFIC 2 (Mbambo 61st, Mpofu 90th)
Highlanders 2 (Dlamini 48th, Zibande 81st)