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Bosso under spotlight for wrong reasons

by Staff reporter
17 Sep 2023 at 07:46hrs | Views
At the end of July, Highlanders were basking in a moment of joy and appeared unbeatable. Under the guidance of their coach, Brito, who had been named Coach of the Month, they had achieved five consecutive victories and kept four consecutive clean sheets.

Their triumph over Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium was particularly noteworthy and even garnered attention in Europe, where legendary Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho, a friend of Brito's, joined in the celebrations. Mourinho even posted a viral video, wishing Highlanders good luck in their upcoming match against ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium on Match Day 18.

Highlanders had surged to the top of the league table, establishing a seven-point lead over their rivals by the end of Week 17. Ngezi Platinum Stars were in second place with 30 points, while Manica Diamonds occupied third place with 29 points. Dynamos trailed in fourth place with 28 points.

However, the subsequent five weeks witnessed a remarkable transformation in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League standings. Highlanders managed to accumulate only four points during this period, while Ngezi collected 12 points, propelling them to the top of the table. Manica Diamonds added another 10 points, and Dynamos gained eight points, potentially rising to 11 if they are awarded three points for their abandoned match against Highlanders.

While Highlanders had previously garnered attention for their unbeaten streak and Brito's tactical prowess, the situation had taken a turn for the worse. Highlanders, along with their vice-captain Peter Muduhwa, faced disciplinary action from the Premier Soccer League due to violent incidents at Barbourfields.

Dynamos, who were leading 2-0 when the match was called off due to crowd trouble, also had to appear before the disciplinary committee as some of their fans had invaded the pitch.

Violence at Barbourfields had been a long-standing issue. Memory Mucherahowa, who captained Dynamos in the 1998 CAF Champions League final, dedicated a chapter in his book to the problem titled "Highlanders and the Culture of Violence." The violence had often escalated beyond the confines of football matches, with fans being attacked in the streets, leading to tragic incidents.

Despite the negative atmosphere surrounding the club, Highlanders' coach Brito remained optimistic about his players' ability to bounce back and face Yadah in their upcoming match. Highlanders were just one point behind log leaders Ngezi with 42 points, while Yadah, their opponents, were struggling near the relegation zone with 24 points. Yadah had unsuccessfully attempted to relocate their match against Highlanders from Barbourfields due to security concerns. In the previous encounter between the two teams at the National Sports Stadium, Highlanders secured a 2-0 victory on April 22.

Fixtures

Triangle United v FC Platinum (Gibbo), CAPS United v Chicken Inn (Bata), Simba Bhora v Sheasham (Baobab), Highlanders v Yadah (Barbourfields)

Source - The Sunday Mail