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Bosso start Cup defence with victory

by Staff reporter
24 May 2021 at 06:35hrs | Views
Bulawayo Chiefs 0 1  Highlanders
IT wasn't the best of performances but holders Highlanders got their defence of the Chibuku Super Cup with a slender victory against Bulawayo Chiefs in a Group B match at Barbourfields yesterday.

Playing in a strange atmosphere, with no fans, both sides adapted well to the new normal and, occasionally, showed flashes of brilliance, in between.

Bosso scored the solitary goal, through newboy Washington Navaya, who ghosted in from the blind side, to head home a good cross from Divine Mhindirira, in the 42nd minute.

The win put Bosso in second place, tied on three points with Group B leaders Chicken Inn, who beat Bulawayo City 2-0 on Saturday.

Bosso skipper Nqobizitha Masuku, who had a good game playing as a twin defensive midfielder alongside Adrian Silla, was happy with the result and said they need to improve in their next assignment against Chicken Inn.

"We are happy to get three points in the first game. As defending champions, we had a good start and we're proud of that,'' said Masuku.

"Obviously, we didn't play very well although we started off brightly.

"We created chances, but fell short in the final third. Our decision making wasn't that good but we are happy to take the three points.

"Next, we face Chicken Inn and these games, being derbies, mean we should always bring our A-game.

"I think we know where we fell short. We'll try to rectify all the mistakes, in training, improve in areas we didn't do well today and maintain what we did well.

"What is key is that we avoided defeat because it would have been difficult to rise."

Unlike Chiefs, who started with two strikers upfront, Farau Matare and Fredrick Muza, Bosso had only one forward Navaya, who kept the defence, on their feet.

Highlanders fielded five midfielders, Masuku, Silla, Mhindirira, Ray Lunga and Godfrey Makaruse.

Highlanders' coach, Mandla Mpofu, thrust in two new signings, Andrew Tandi and Crispen Ncube, in defence.

They joined Andrew Mbeba and Mbongeni Ndlovu while a jittery Future Sibanda started in goal, ahead of Ariel Sibanda.

Future was the busier of the two goalkeepers as Chiefs' David Bizabani was rarely troubled. Bizabani was called into action in the 21st minute, pulling off a fine save, to deny Lunga in a one-on-one situation. A 57th minute cross by Gift Gumbo just needed a tap-in, by Matare, but he shockingly missed with a yawning goal, at his mercy.

Chiefs' skipper, Marlvin Mkolo, twice rose high above the Bosso defence to connect crosses with good headers, first missing the target by a few centimetres, and then being denied by the upright.

The introduction of Ghanaian midfielder, Samuel Antwi, and attacker, Hughe Chikosa for Fredrick Muza and Desire Shumbanhete at the start of the second half, saw Chiefs seizing control.

"I'm happy we got off to a good start against a brilliant Chiefs side that could have scored two or three goals,'' said Mpofu.

"I'm happy with how my players applied themselves today and I think the guys missing will find it difficult to break into the team because these boys gave it their all."

Chiefs coach, Thulani Sibanda, said they struggled to find their rhythm.

In the first half, we gave them too much respect. We didn't play our normal game, we didn't pass it around, we didn't have depth, we didn't have width and it cost us.

"In the second-half we applied ourselves well but it was already late because Highlanders were sitting at the back."

Teams

Bulawayo Chiefs: D. Bizabani, P. Sibanda (I. Badu 77th mine), G. Gumbo, M. Mkolo, B. Nyahunzwi, J. Nyabinde, L. Ndlela (B. Veremu 74th min), D. Shumbanhete (S. Antwi 46th min), A. Musiyiwa, F. Muza (H. Chikosa 46th min), F. Matare

Highlanders: F. Sibanda, C.Ncube, M. Ndlovu, A. Tandi, A. Mbeba, N. Masuku, A. Silla, D. Mhindirira, R. Lunga (B. Sibanda 89th min), G. Makaruse (T. Banda 70th min), W. Navaya (M. Dhlamini 89th min)

Source - the herald