MUTARE – In matches punctuated by bad refereeing decisions, a local army side eased their relegation woes while fellow strugglers Dongo Saw Mills, could not find a winning formula over the weekend.
Buffaloes ‘Watungwa Watungwa’ as it is affectionately known to its legions of fans romped to a victory glossed over by a score line their play did not merit, dismissing visiting Whahwa by three goals to nil.
Whawha gaffer Lloyd Mutasa was sent to the terraces in 77th minute for demonstrating against the referee’s decision.
Understandably, much of the pre-match debate centered on whether the Eastern region will maintain two teams in the top division , as both representatives were on a free fall to the bottom half of the premiership.
That this was Buffaloes only third win this season speaks volumes, as four losses and half a dozen draws have left the perennial survivors just two places from relegation.
While Buffaloes were electric in a first half display which bellied their poor form, their profligacy in front of goal perhaps explained why they are struggling, so apparent in a nervy display they still managed to get it right.
Impressive left back Farai Banda, a trusted free kick specialist was on hand to calm the nerves of fans, clinically dispatching from the penalty spot after wasteful striker Vincent Mahaka was hacked down in the box.
The pencil slimmed Banda, who covered every blade of grass in a composed display, scored the all important opener four minutes before half time while Mahaka exorcised his demons with an emphatic tap in the second half.
Whahwa was thrown into cells right at the death when Lloyd Katongomara sealed the win with a cheeky back-heeler from a deceiving cross, which was never in doubt as the visitors rarely threatened.
While Buffaloes redeemed themselves, Dongo Sawmills remained rooted at the bottom as they failed to utilize home advantage and were beaten by visiting Harare City.
Soccer fans who spoke to 263Chat after the Buffaloes win said this hard fought victory was a ray of light in a dark tunnel for Eastern region teams.
Edmore Shongatu of Sakubva said Eastern region teams should take advantage of their home fixtures to collect points. He praised Buffaloes for their resilient streak at home.
“Buffaloes yagona yatidadisa kuno (has done well and made us proud) they have shown that there is a ray of light in the dark tunnel for team dzekuno (based in the Eastern region).
“Dongo and Buffaloes must use their home advantage to ensure they don’t get beaten at home hazviite kuti adyiwe pamba(it’s not proper to be beaten at home,” he said.
While this result will do well to boost the morale of the Buffaloes camp, more should be done to ensure safety of the premiership status. As for Dongo Sawmills, rumored to be on the market, there is still some work to be done to get rid of the whipping boys title they have earned themselves.