ZVISHAVANE – Shabanie Mine came from a goal down to force a 1-1 draw with Monomotapa in a Castle Premiership match at Maglas Stadium on Sunday.
Monomotapa controlled the first half and got a fourth minute lead through Carlos Messi.
The relegation threatened Harare side won the ball on the left flank and captain Hillary Mugoniwa sent in a high ball which Shabanie goalkeeper Victor Twaliki fumbled.
Messi capitalised on the blunder to head home for the 2008 Zimbabwe champions.
Monoz continued to dominate the first half especially in the midfield but failed to create clear goal scoring opportunities.
Shabanie’s first chance came in the 28th minute when Frank Bushiri's shot was blocked by Last Sithole.
After the breather, the home side came back a more determined team following the introduction of Solomon Ndlovu for Norman Maroto and Zimbabwe youth international Nigel Hunga for Valentine Ndaba.
Shabanie began to dictate pace with Hunga causing all sorts of problems for the Monomotapa defence.
The asbestos miners were finally rewarded in the 75th minute when young Thalbot Mthombeni headed in a cross from Ndlovu.
Shabanie won possession on the right and Ndlovu beat two defenders before releasing a floating cross that was met by Mthombeni , who rose higher than the Monoz defence to head past an outdrawn Fidias Chifamba.
The home side continued to pile the pressure but were found wanting in the final third.
Monoz could have sealed a win after catching Shabanie on the break on a number of occasions in the final five minutes but were let down by poor finishing.
After the match, Monoz assistant coach Conrad Nyambabvu bemoaned the missed chances for failing to collect maximum points.
“We played well especially in the first half in which we should have scored more than one goal. We had a perfect chance to get a win on the road but we allowed them to come back in the second half. Otherwise it was a good game,” Nyambabvu said.
Shabanie coach Luke Masomere, who endured verbal insults from supporters, who questioned his team selection and tactics said the lack of depth affected his team's rhythm.
“We don’t have depth at the club and if we have injuries it affects the team’s performance. We missed Eria Phiri, Caleb Masocha, Pardon Marima and Pervington Zimunya,” he said.
Monomotapa remained in 14th place on the log with 25 points and need to win all their remaining five game to survive relegation.
Although Shabanie moved into 10th place on the log with 33 points, they are still not yet save from the drop.