ZVISHAVANE – Buffaloes escaped relegation after holding FC Platinum to a lively 2-2 draw in a Castle Premiership match at Mandava Stadium on Sunday.
The draw torched wild celebrations from the Buffaloes executive and a few of the travelling supporters.
“This is a good result for the people of Manicaland. The province will be assured of Premiership football next year,” said Buffaloes coach Timothy Masachi.
“We wanted to get an early goal to unsettle them but we failed to utilise chances that came our way.
“It’s good that we didn’t collapse despite twice getting behind. We now need to go back to the drawing board and plan for next year.”
The Mutare-based soldiers finished the season in 12th place just one point above the relegation zone with 39 points.
Yesterday, Buffaloes started the match on a high firing from all cylinders but were found wanting in the final third failing to convert numerous chances that came their way.
Lloyd Katongomara, who finally made way for Jacob Muzokomba in the second half, was guilty of missing a number of clear cut chances.
The hosts were the first to take the lead after Ali Sadiki finished off a move on the right that involved Allan Gahadzikwa to shoot past an exposed Buffaloes keeper Hopeful Bere.
The shot took a slight deflection of a Buffaloes defender before it went in.
Buffaloes regrouped in the second half and found the equaliser from the spot after Stephen Sibanda was felled inside the box by Daniel Veremu after 52 minutes.
Sibanda dusted himself to score his 13th goal of the season by sending Francis Tizayi the wrong way.
Platinum were back in the lead in the 61st minute after Veremu made amends for the penalty by also scoring from the spot.
The hosts were awarded the spot kick after Nelson Maziwisa was fouled inside the box by Philip Chandisaita.
Buffaloes were not behind for long as they drew level three minutes later through Muzokomba.
The visitors went on a counter and Philip Thembani’s shot was punched back into play by Tizayi but Muzokomba was quick with the follow up to tap the ball home.