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'Highlanders executive lied to me,' says Akbay

by Staff reporter
04 Sep 2017 at 06:27hrs | Views
Highlanders 0 - 1 Chapungu United

HIGHLANDERS' coach Erol Akbay yesterday accused the Bulawayo giants' executive of lying to him that the club had money to buy quality players before the start of the season.

The Dutchman, who made dramatic claims last week that his former assistant Amini Soma-Phiri was sabotaging him in his duties and asked for the return of goalkeeper's coach Cosmas "Tsano" Zulu, said this after Bosso fell to Chapungu in a near empty Hartsfield Ground yesterday.

It was Bosso's fourth straight loss in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League since the beginning of the second part of the season.

Bosso have been having a disastrous campaign and appear intent on causing heartache for multitudes of their fans in the second half of the season.

A 79th minute goal by substitute Brighton Mugoni condemned the once mighty Bosso to 360 minutes of league football without a win and Akbay believes the lack of quality strikers in his squad is the main reason for the team's poor performance.

"In December when I was going home (Netherlands), I asked the executive if there was money to buy players and they said yes. I called them when I was home and they again said money was enough for me to get good players, but in January when I came back, they told me there was no money to buy players," Akbay said.

"We are missing good strikers. I gave them a lot of names that I wanted, but I was told there was no money. This executive does not want good strikers in our team because they did nothing about the players which I wanted," he said.

The Dutchman said he was not panicking and was not in crisis, but it was the club which was in a crisis.

"Highlanders have a crisis, not me. I know what I am doing and my heart is very clean. I know where the problem is and it's the strike force."

However, Highlanders' acting chairman Modern Ngwenya immediately hit back, saying it was not true that they promised Akbay money to buy players.

"It's not true, the guy has got strikers that he recommended to us and this blame game of saying the executive did not buy strikers is not true. Which strikers did he recommend to us and we failed to get save for Obadiah Tarumbwa, who is contracted to Chicken Inn? This blame game will never help us at all; it's not fair when a bad workman blames his tool. Does he want me to get onto the field and score; it's not fair at all," said Ngwenya.

"Akbay should stop criticising anyone and rather concentrate on rectifying his own weaknesses. Initially he was blaming Soma-Phiri, who excused himself and now he is blaming the executive. He blames everyone except himself and yet the buck stops with him in the dugout," said Ngwenya.

Despite the loss, accusations and counter accusations, Highlanders played some exciting football yesterday and were unlucky to come out with nothing.

Bosso's first attempt came in the seventh minute when the skilful King Nadolo shot just wide.

Play was concentrated in the midfield until the 20th minute when the home side again attempted to break the deadlock through speedster Gabriel Nyoni.

His dipping volley, however, also went just over the bar.

Six minutes later, Hartsfield Ground went up in arms after referee Pilan Ncube flashed a yellow card in the face of Nyoni for simulation after going down inside the box.

At this stage, Highlanders were all over the visitors and Chapungu goalkeeper Ray Mazingi almost gifted Bosso the opener in the 31st minute when he spilled a harmless looking shot by Nadolo and the ball went agonisingly wide for a corner.

A minute before halftime, Charlton Siamalonga watched in disbelief when his booming shot from left side was acrobatically tipped over for a corner by Mazingi as Bosso laid siege on the Chapungu goal.

Things changed in the second half, as the visitors enjoyed a better spell and could have gone ahead in the 56th minute but Allan Tavarwisa's shot crashed against the upright, with Bosso keeper Ariel Sibanda beaten.

A minute later, an injury forced Highlanders to pull out Ray Lunga for Ralph Matema and that change affected their play as the veteran striker never really came to the party.

Then came the horror moment for Bosso when Mugoni punished them for leaving him unattended to slot home in the 79th minute and condemn the home side to yet another defeat.

"It was a very tough game. I think Highlanders were better in the first half, always first on the ball and in the second half we realised that our guys were getting tired hence those substitutes. When the substitutes came in, they managed to change the complexion of the game," said an elated Chapungu coach Tendai Chikuni.

Teams

Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Charlton Siamalonga (Honest Moyo 77th min), Bukhosi Ncube, Rahman Kutsanzira, Adrian Silla, King Nadolo, Ray Lunga (Ralph Matema 57th min), Brian Banda, Tendai Ndlovu(Tendai Ngulube 84th min) Gabriel Nyoni, Benson Phiri,

UnusedSubs: Simon Munawa, Kalunga Tambwe, Yves Ebabali Esisa, Medrick Madeya, Ralph Matema

Chapungu: Ray Mazingi, 24 Charles Mativenga, 40 Raymond Sibanda, 13 Blessed Mbavarira, 4, Collen Kwaramba, 19 Moenda Muchangami, 32 Ian Nyoni(Brighton Mugoni 61st min), 17 Tinei Chitora, 26 Allen Tavarwisa, 12 Patrick Khumbula (Blessing Sahondo 63rd min), 14 Philip Marufu (Lloyd Gwerina 49th min)

Unused Subs: 21 Emmanuel Chitauro, 21 Emmanuel Chitauro, 23 Ricky Bota, 30 Blessing Zabula

Ref: Pilan Ncube

First Assistant: Mlungisi Mathuthu

Second Ref: Emmanuel Mugwagwa

Fourth official: Hardly Ndazi

Match Commissioner: Bryton Malandule

Results at a glance

Yesterday: Highlanders 0-1 Chapungu , Shabanie Mine 1-0 Ngezi Platinum, Hwange 0-1FC Platinum, Caps United 0-2 Dynamos

Saturday: Yadah 3-1 Bantu Rovers, Black Rhinos 1-1 Triangle United, How Mine 1- 2 Chicken Inn



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