Miscellaneous inflicted more pain on struggling Tafic on Sunday when they defeated them 2-0 in a controversial and bad tempered game at Swallows grounds in Palapye.
With only nine games left, Machimenyenga Boys find themselves sitting four points adrift at the bottom of the table having lost their last five games.
With so much at stake for both clubs it was always going to be a hard fought match, played on a difficult, dusty pitch that would be better served as a car parking facility.
If the players thought that they were only playing against the eleven men of Miscellaneous, it soon became evident to the hundreds of Tafic supporters at the game that the match officials were not on their side either.
Miscellaneous applied most of the early pressure, with striker Segolame Boy troubling the Tafic defence but unable to beat AbednicoMorapediwho made several good saves.
Questions over the competence of the match officials were highlighted in the 25th minute when Miscellaneous player Kagiso Molapi and Tafic striker Tendai Nyamadzawo collided.Both players went down after the sickening clash of heads when Molapi clattered into the tall Tafic striker, and although the Miscellaneous player was taken to hospital, he should also have been red-carded for dangerous play. As it was he was not even cautioned.
Play was held up for over 10 minutes as both players received treatment. The incident was a cause for concern as there was no Med Rescue facility at the game, and Molapi was taken to hospital in the back of a pick-up truck.
Towards the end of the half the Tafic goalkeeper was flattened by a Miscallaneous player, with play held up for another lengthy stoppage. Again no caution was given to the offending player. The incident again angered the Tafic fans and technical staff who had earlier seen referee Kebafilwe Ratshipo book their player Tlhagiso Mathews for ‘simulation’ as he lay on the ground after being fouled.
The goalless first half ended with an additional 14 minutes of time added on.
Again Miscellaneous started the second half with greater intent, breaking through the Tafic mid-field and creating scoring chances. Keaotshepha Omphile was the first to find the back of the net in the 61st minute when the Tafic keeper failed to deal with his shot following a goalmouth scramble.
The goal failed to galvanise an effective response from Tafic despite their two-second half substitutions. The reason why they have scored only three goals in their last seven games was evident in the fact that they recorded only three shots on target in the entire game.
Their cause was not helped with further farcical refereeing decisions – a Miscellaneous player winning a free kick after he had clearly tripped over his own feet.
Tse Nala added the final nail in the coffin in 86th minute when the Tafic defence were caught ball watching.
Tafic Coach Dodo expressed his disappointed with the boys’ performance especially as their last three losses have been against fellow strugglers at the bottom of the log.
The coach has vowed to battle on until the end – “The struggle continues,” he said although he admitted he had few words to say about the just ended game. “We cannot just fold our arms. We have to put our focus on the remaining nine games,” he said.
Tse Nala mentor Chippa Koolese was on the other hand a happy man after his team collected much needed points in front of former vice-president Lieutenant General MomapatiMerafhe who is a patron of the club.
He said the match went according to his plan although throughout the first half they failed to convert their chances.