By Sports Reporter
FORMER Warriors star Benjani Mwariwari further enhanced his cult hero status at Manchester City after rolling back the years to score a late leveller for the Manchester City Legends against Premier League All Stars during Vincent Kompany’s testimonial match at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The 41-year-old Mwaruwari came off the bench in the 71st minute before rising in the final minute of the match to send a towering header past Shay Given which earned a draw for the Manchester City Legends.
The Pep Guardiola-coached Manchester City legends had scored first through Martin Petrov who beat Edwin Van der Sar in goal. The Premier League legends hit back through Robbie Kean to make it 1-1.
Robin Van Persie made it 2-1 for the Premier League legends before Benjani’s intervention in the 89th minute.
However, the limelight was on Mwaruwari after the match as he performed his famous celebration which brought back memories of his derby goal for Manchester City in a 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2008.
Earlier, the sight of Mwaruwari emerging from the dugout during his introduction from the substitute bench prompted chants of “Benjani oooooooh! He comes from Zimbabwe. And scored on derby day!”
A crowd of 51,602 turned up at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday to say farewell to the former Manchester City captain, Kompany who left the Premier League champions at the end of last season.
They were nevertheless denied the chance of seeing the inspirational defender in action for one last time due to yet another injury but Kompany hailed the testimonial.
The 33-year-old won 10 major honours in 11 years at the club but he was dogged by muscular problems throughout the second half of his City career.
“I’m the proudest man in the world,” said the Belgian, who also gave game time to his brother Francois and a number of players from Anderlecht, where he is now player-manager.
“It’s been a special day. It’s been a perfect evening even though I didn’t play. I couldn’t have wished for more.”
The priority for Kompany was raising funds for his homelessness charity Tackle4MCR, which aims to eradicate rough sleeping in Manchester. It is an issue that has been close to his heart throughout his stay in the city he now considers home.