Highlanders 2-0 Harare City
BULAWAYO-TWO first half goals were enough to end Highlanders’ four-match winless streak in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League and put smiles back on the faces of their restless fans at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Highlanders’ last victory was on September 26 when they beat Yadah 2-1 at Barbourfields Stadium.
This was followed by two consecutive draws against Caps United and Shabanie Mine before defeats to Bulawayo City and Chapungu.
Bosso went into yesterday’s encounter hard-pressed for a win and coach Madinda Ndlovu named an offensive starting line-up which had four strikers, Gabriel Nyoni, Tinashe Makanda, Newman Sianchali and Tafadzwa Sibanda, an indication that he wanted a win.
Highlanders managed to soak pressure mounted by Harare City, who exhibited some breathtaking football and enjoyed superior ball possession.
A well-struck 20m curler by mid-season signing Makanda in the 28th minute beat a diving Harare City goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu to ease Bosso’s nerves as the visitors controlled the game for the better part of the game.
It was Makanda’s first goal for Highlanders and should have been a relief for the forward, who was sidelined from first team action because of an injury picked up in his first game when Bosso drew 0-0 with Nichrut on August 18 in Gweru.
Makanda returned to haunt Harare City seven minutes after powering Bosso to the lead by winning a penalty after being brought down by Munyaradzi Diro-Nyenye in the box.
Highlanders’ goalie Ariel Sibanda took the responsibility and converted the spot kick, hitting the roof of the net.
Bosso held onto the lead to move into sixth place on the league table.
Coach Ndlovu said it wasn’t their best performance, but was happy his lads secured maximum points.
“I think today’s performance is a portion of what we can do as a team. We had an offensive team as we wanted to find out if our strikers can get goals and we managed to get the goals. Coming from a streak of poor results, that was expected (playing second fiddle to their opponents). I’m happy that the top three strikers showed hunger for goals,” said Ndlovu.
Despite losing the match, Harare City coach Mark Harrison was happy with his team’s performance, adding that they “taught” Highlanders a “football lesson”.
“We came here with an average age of 22 years and we gave Highlanders a football lesson with some brilliant passing of the ball. We played from the back, through the midfield and even created opportunities that on a good day we could have buried. We conceded two silly goals, but I’m well pleased with the performance of the players because the idea was to introduce them to such competition and they played beautiful football,” said Harrison.
Bosso keeper Sibanda made two match-winning saves in the first half, pushing out a ferocious Learnmore Muyambo shot for corner in the 24th minute.
He then narrowed the angle on experienced Tendai Samanja, forcing him to shoot wide in the 85th minute after getting to the end of a Tellmore Pio pass. Chronicle