Hooliganism reared its ugly head again at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo Sunday as the much touted “Battle of Zimbabwe” pitting eternal rivals Highlanders and Dynamos became the second PSL match to be abandoned due to crowd trouble this season.
The match was abandoned six minutes into added time after fans from both clubs stormed the pitch.
The match had two lengthy stoppages prompting the officials to add 13 minutes. Highlanders’ fans first stormed the field as they celebrated Washington Navaya’s goal, which had put them one step closer to snatching a second win against their bitter rivals within a space of a month after they got the better of Glamour Boys in the Uhuru Cup.
Dembare fans were not happy with the referee’s decision to allow they goal as they felt that there was a foul on their midfielder Shadreck Nyahwa in the build up to the Bosso goal and ended up destroying the goalpost in protest.
The match first had a lengthy stoppage caused by an injury to Highlanders’ Andrew Thandi after a crude tackle from teenage sensation Bill Antonio who was then given his marching orders by referee Jimmy Makwanda in the 62nd minute.
This resulted in a scuffle between the Sakunda bankrolled clubs as players from both clubs engaged in a heated argument and saw fans from the grand stand throwing water bottles onto the field of play.
As normalcy returned, there was a lengthy stoppage just after Bosso took the lead through a Washington Navaya strike. A goal that Dynamos felt there was a foul on Shadreck Nyahwa during the build-up to the goal and another rough challenge on keeper Tymon Mvula, and thought they should have been awarded a free kick instead.
Dembare supporters on the Mpilo End then joined in melee as the uprooted the goalposts and tore the nets. The perimeter fence was also broken as fans invaded the pitch. Players and officials immediately left the pitch and sought refuge in the tunnel, causing the play to be suspended.
Angry Dynamos fans then started throwing missiles at the groundsmen who were trying to fix a broken post and this forced the match commissioner to abandon the game.
Bosso went into the match needing nothing but a victory as they wanted to get to ten games unbeaten in the league with a win over their sworn rivals and at the same time a win would save their coach’s face as Mandla Mpofu has been rumoured to be nearing the end of his Bosso tenure.
Dembare, on the other hand, travelled to Bulawayo needing a win so as to maintain their grip at the summit of the log as Chicken Inn were within a stone’s throw.
There are rumours of chaos within the Chazunguza camp as it is alleged that the team have not received their winning bonuses for the past 9 matches.
Meanwhile across the country, misery continued to pile for yesteryear cup kings Caps United as they lost 1-0 to Chicken Inn. Makepekepe are still hunting for a PSL victory in 3 consecutive matches. The win saw Chicken Inn tip toeing to the top of the Castle Lager Premiership.