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Bosso's title hopes fade

by Staff reporter
05 Oct 2023 at 07:01hrs | Views
Highlanders 1 - 1 Sheasham
Highlanders' aspirations for the title continue to diminish as they settled for a draw in their crucial Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Sheasham at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

Ngezi Platinum Stars, who secured another victory yesterday, have now opened up a six-point lead over second-placed Bosso, accumulating 51 points.

Sheasham's David Mangesi scored a remarkable goal in the 39th minute, giving his team the initial advantage as the Gweru-based side aimed to alleviate their relegation concerns. Mangesi, unmarked, received the ball from the right, took his time, and skillfully curled his shot to the far right, leaving Highlanders' goalkeeper Ariel as a mere spectator.

Due to the suspension of central defender Mbongeni Ndlovu, Highlanders' defense struggled, and coach Baltemar Brito opted for Andrew Tandi, who seemed to be nursing an injury throughout the game.

Stanley Ngala equalized for Highlanders in the 75th minute from inside the box after being set up by Tandi.

Debutant Gillian Nyathi on the right and Archford Faira on the left had a difficult time, leading Brito to substitute them at halftime, bringing in Rahman Kutsanzira and Brighton Manhire.

However, Brito expressed dissatisfaction with the referee's decision to disallow a goal by Lynoth Chikuhwa in stoppage time. Chikuhwa took advantage of a through ball from Elton, but the assistant referee Brilliant Sibanda appeared to have already raised his flag.

Brito commented, "In the end, there was a goal that was disallowed, and I, along with everyone in the stadium, don't understand why. The goal would have given us victory. Of course, we did not play well, we dropped two points, but I still don't understand why that decision?"

Sheasham coach Lizwe Sweswe was content with the away point, stating, "The boys did very well, but I am concerned about the chances we created. Our conversion rate is very low, but what is important is that we can create the chances, and we now want to score more goals. That point will take us somewhere. Playing against big teams away from home and securing a point is a positive step towards survival," Sweswe said.

Highlanders faced an early scare in the 15th minute when Hillary Bakacheza's header hit the side net.

Ray Lunga had a shot at goal in the 20th minute, but his effort was saved by Sheasham goalkeeper Elton Sibanda after being set up by Washington Navaya.

Highlanders earned a free-kick two minutes later through Andrew Mbeba, but Elton Sibanda came to Sheasham's rescue once again.

In the 27th minute, Sheasham's Mhare had a chance in a counter-attack but produced a weak shot that didn't trouble the steady Ariel Sibanda.

The visitors missed another opportunity to increase their lead in the 68th minute as Mhare shot over the crossbar from inside the penalty area after a defensive error by the Bulawayo giants.

Bosso is set to play Simba Bhora at Baobab Stadium in Mhondoro-Ngezi on Saturday.


Highlanders: A Sibanda, A Mbeba, A Faira (R Kutsanzira 46'), A Tandi, P Muduhwa, G Nyathi (B Manhire 46'), R Lunga (L Chikuhwa 61'), M Ncube, W Navaya, M Mushore, S Ngala

Sheasham: E Sibanda, S Mhare (K Musharu 69') K Collin, P Madhazi, L Masveure, W Stima, D Mangesi, R Useni, H Bakacheza, T Jubane, P Shoko

Source - newsday