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Bosso road woes hit 32 winless matches

by Staff reporter
14 Aug 2022 at 07:20hrs | Views
Herentals  1 - 1 Highlanders
BULAWAYO giants Highlanders' struggles on the road continued yesterday when a late equaliser by Herentals striker forward John Zhuwao ended hopes that Bosso had of a first Castle Lager Premier Soccer League win away from Barbourfields in 32 matches.

It all seemed on course at the National Sports Stadium yesterday when Bosso took an early lead through Lynoth Chikuhwa on the quarter hour.  For three years Bosso have not won a league match outside Bulawayo.

And former Caps United man Zhuwao rose from the bench to head home Herentals equaliser, eight minutes from time.

Yesterday's draw was also the sixth in 10 matches for the Highlanders so far this season.  They have already lost four times on the road this term.

Yet they played with greater determination for much of yesterday and enjoyed an upper hand in the first half, forcing Herentals to defend deep.

Bosso's early pressure paid dividends after just 15 minutes when Chikuhwa capitalised on miscommunication between Herentals defender Wilmore Chimbetu and his goalkeeper Takudzwa Chikosi.

The Bosso forward stole the ball from the Herentals players and tapped home from close range.
Herentals soon regained their composure and came close to levelling terms in the 27th minute from a counter-attack.

Tinotenda Benza broke loose on the left-flank before finding Tafadzwa Jimu, who made a cut back to his father Innocent Benza inside the Highlanders penalty box.

But the Premiership's oldest player failed after hurrying his effort.

Bosso kept pressing and forced Herentals to rely on the counter raids, as they played second fiddle to the visitors for the entire first-half.

The hosts came back from the breather, a much improved side, turning the tables on Highlanders.

They were unlucky not to get both an equaliser and claiming a lead, as they saw three of their goal-bound efforts being saved by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda inside five minutes.

First to have his effort denied was Jimu, who came to the end of a Tinotenda Benza cross a minute after the break only to see his header being palmed away by the Highlanders goalkeeper.

Sibanda was called into action moments later to deal with Blessing Majarira attempts in the 43rd and 45th minutes.

Herentals coach Mutiwekuziva was to make a tactical substitution in the 56th minute bringing in Zhuwao for Innocent Benza.

And with odds for a Highlanders win still high Zhuwao had other ideas.

He got to the end of Tinotenda Benza's assist head home and level matters, thereby denying Bosso their first win outside Bulawayo since July 22, 2018. In the end Highlanders counted themselves lucky as Tinotenda Benza once again broke loose with five minutes remaining and found himself in a one-on-one-situation with Sibanda.

The Bosso goalkeeper and captain showed his agility when he stretched out his leg to block the effort and although the rebound fell into the way of Denzel Chimwemwe, he could not do any justice, blasted his effort over the bar when it appeared easier to score than miss.

The miss was described by Herentals coach as contender for a miss of season, as he felt his charges could have broken their winless streak against Highlanders in six matches.

"It's particularly two points lost for us, as I feel that we were better than Highlanders in the second half.

We missed a lot of chances and Denzel's chance towards the end of the match is one of the worst misses of the season for us and also that of Innocent Benza. Those two chances were too close for us to get maximum points," said Mutiwekuziva.

Highlanders gaffer Baltemar Brito, ducked questions on his team's poor away form.

He instead reckoned that yesterday's first half performance by Highlanders was as the best he had seen since taking over from Mandla Mpofu.

"We have only been in charge of four games, but I feel that this was our best first-half performance of the season.  Herentals changed in the second half, the power and speed into the match and they had to rely on long balls and forcing us to defend much deeper. In the future we may also win like that, but we are a work in progress," said Brito.

Source - The Sunday News
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