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Bosso: 'It's not inside, it's on top!'

by Staff reporter
01 May 2023 at 03:09hrs | Views
Highlanders 1-0 Hwange

GOD favours hard workers, people who want to play and respect fans, these words were uttered by Highlanders Football Club coach Baltemar Brito following his team's late winner that powered them to the top of the table in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.

Highlanders took their points tally to 14 from six games, just a point ahead of Ngezi Platinum Stars and two points above Caps United who were dethroned from the summit following their 2-0 defeat to Dynamos.

Substitute Washington Navaya struck the winner for Highlanders in the 87th minute, a goal that Brito, who was visibly frustrated by Hwange's delaying tactics, described as a fortunate one at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

Highlanders' winner came at a time when it appeared the match had been heading towards a draw, a point that Hwange coach Nation Dube said his side would have been content with.

A lapse of concentration and a mistake as Hwange goalkeeper Nedrick Madeya missed the ball, colliding with his defender as he left the goal line in an attempt to clear to safety, led to Bosso's goal.

Evergreen Highlanders midfielder Devine Mhindirira then sent a cross which was headed in by Washington Navaya.

Hwange players, who had desperately tried to clear the ball which had crossed the goal line mobbed the far side assistant referee who signalled for a goal as the ball hit the nets before being cleared.

At the end of the game, it had to take Dube to calm his players and give a shield to the referees as his charges were clearly unhappy and nearly manhandled the match officials.

As for the Bosso gaffer, it was a hard-fought victory that deserves to be celebrated.

"At the end of the day God was on our side, He (God) saw how much we wanted to play and win the game while the other side wasted the time. The opponents didn't want to play and had no respect for the fans who came to watch the game.

"A lucky goal. But we deserved a win. The first-half was better than the second-half as we created a number of chances, but in the second-half the opponents started doing their antics (time wasting) which is not good for Zimbabwe football," said Brito

Hwange's approach to the game was to stay behind the ball, let Highlanders come to them as they soak pressure with the hope of getting Bosso on counters.

Rarely did the coalminers trouble Highlanders' backline as Peter Muduhwa and Mbongeni Ndlovu kept Hwange's top striker under lock.

Highlanders kept the Hwange goalkeeper Madeya busy in the first stanza but were let down by poor finishing and good goalkeeping by the visitors' shot stopper.

Highlanders' first two scoring opportunities fell to Stanley Ngala and Lynoth Chikuhwa in the third and 12th minute, when they both got to the end of perfect deliveries from set pieces by Andrew Mbeba but they failed to direct their headers.

Bosso winger McKinnon Mushore came close to giving his team the lead in the 16th minute after being set through by Ngala but his shot went to the terraces.

An unmarked Chikuhwa fluffed another glorious scoring chance in the 22nd minute as he curled the ball into the stands having been fed by Ngala inside the penalty box.

Hwange had no replies to Highlanders' numerous raids, with Madeya keeping the score line 0-0 heading to the break as he made light work of a blistering shot by Mushore at the stroke of half-time.

Bosso returned from the break still fired up but Hwange made sure that they frustrated the home side and broke their attacks in whatever way.

Highlanders' last weekend two-goal hero in their 2-0 away win against Yadah, Calvin "Kung Fu Panda" Chigonero, who replaced Ngala at the start of the second-half, received a pass from Mushore in the 54th minute, sold his marker a dummy as he turned inside and tried a curler that missed the target by inches.

Mhindirira had his 69th minute strike going straight to the hands of a well-positioned Madeya.

A minute later, there was a deafening silence at Barbourfields Stadium when Claivert Tshuma's shot from the edge of the box after Hwange had won a free kick grazed the paint off the upright with

Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda cleanly beaten.

With nine minutes left on the clock, a perfectly positioned Chigonero missed a sitter unmarked inside the box as he shot over the bar.

Hwange launched a quick attack with left back Gift Gumbo almost catching Ariel Sibanda who had moved out of his line with a dipping shot that hit the crossbar.

Bosso quickly launched an attack that resulted in Navaya's 87th minute goal.

With a bit of precision, Chigonero should have made it two for Highlanders after breaching Hwange's high line defence, going past Madeya only to hit the side net from a tight angle.

Hwange gaffer Dube felt that they gave away a valuable point.

"You could see the difference between amateurs and professionals because professionals concentrate throughout the game. Otherwise we fared well, our game plan which was to let them play the ball almost worked well. It was only us who didn't take the chances we had otherwise it would've been a different story," Dube said.

Highlanders starting lineup against Hwange


Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Andrew Mbeba, Godfrey Makaruse, Peter Muduhwa, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Melikhaya Ncube (Manhire 65 mins), Darlington Mukuli (Navaya 65 mins), Lynoth Chikuhwa Mushore 90 mins), Stanley Ngala (Chigonero 46 mins, Devine Mhindirira, McKinnon Mushore (Kutsanzira 90+4 mins)

Hwange: Nedrick Madeya, Elisha Zulu, Kelly Shiyandindi, Brian Mlotshwa, Gift Gumbo, Thabani Goredema, Tendai Muvuti (Nasama 34 mins), Sheppard Gadzikwa, Solomon Sithole (Chivasa 68 mins), Brighton Makopa (Tshuma 68 mins), Canaan Nkomo (Lucas Sibanda 68 mins).

Source - The Chronicle