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Bosso tames Buffaloes

by Sikhumbuzo Moyo
06 May 2013 at 04:20hrs | Views
Highlanders 3 - 0 Buffaloes
HIGHLANDERS managed to keep a clean sheet for the first time in seven matches and in the process silenced a hugely confident army side Buffaloes in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played before an appreciative crowd at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

With the win Highlanders shot to the top of the standings for the first time this season on a superior goal difference to FC Platinum.

An own goal by the visitors' captain Prosper Matizanadzo five minutes before the breather and two top drawer goals from star midfielder Mthulisi Maphosa in the 53rd minute and second half substitute, Milton Ncube eight minutes before the end were enough to condemn the Mutare-based side whose coach Saul Chaminuka had declared war on Bosso.

Highlanders could have gone ahead after just 20 seconds into the match when wing master Masimba Mambare who received a through ball from Maphosa, raced into the box and in the process left a Buffaloes defender by the wayside. When inside the 12-yard box he brought in a cross that was however scrambled to safety by Never Musvipa.

The black and white army were back again into the Buffaloes' goal area three minutes later but forward Njabulo Ncube who had a rather quiet game save for some flashes of brilliance, took too long to shoot at goal until the ball was taken away by the opponents.

Through one such move in the 13th minute, Highlanders were nearly punished for sleeping on duty when Steven Sibanda beat an ill-conceived offside trap by the central defence of captain Innocent Mapuranga and gangly Dumisani Ndlovu.

Sibanda charged towards goal and shotstopper, Munyaradzi Diya should be praised for being alert as he rushed out to try and cover the mess.

His timely intervention was right and when Sibanda wanted to go for the kill, he just managed to touch the ball with his fingers. At that moment Baroburfields stadium was so quiet that could have heard the sound of a falling needle.

Sibanda kept charging and with Diya not in goals and he took rather too long to finish and by the time he tried to do that, Mapuranga was in position much to the chagrin of Buffaloes players but certainly to the joy and relief of Highlanders fans.

Man-of-the-match, Beavan Chikaka who together with left back Bruce Kangwa gave their best the whole afternoon watched in disbelief as his shot from outside the box missed the cross bar by inches. He had made some nice diagonal runs from the left.

But still Buffaloes kept their composure and continued with some intelligent passes but Highlanders were always dangerous when going forward.

In the 29th minute Mambare was hacked down, in what many felt was inside the box but referee Nkosana Nduna who controlled the match, directed a free kick right at the edge. He was close to the action.

The resultant kick by Kangwa was blocked by the six-man Buffaloes wall.

Simon Munawa, playing as a right back, could have scored a spectacular goal 39 minutes into the match when he let loose a bullet from way outside the box.

A minute later Chikaka received a nice pass on the right side of the field and charged towards goal. He got inside the box and brought in a knee high but powerful cross into the danger zone and under challenge from the lurking Njabulo, skipper  Matizanadzo could do nothing but scramble the ball into his own nets although it seemed he had handled in the process.

While Buffaloes were clearly enjoying territorial advantage in the first half, the tide turned in Highlanders' favour in the last half as they threatened to overrun their opponents.

As they were going for the kill, Matizanadzo, who would want to quickly forget his afternoon at Barbourfields, handled just outside the box and Kangwa took the responsibility of taking the free kick with his favourite left foot.

He brought in a swinger into the box that was badly dealt with by the visitors defence resulting and the ball fell to the waiting Maphosa and like a true general, Maphosa coolly picked his spot and lobbed the ball over the entire defence and the goalkeeper Chengetai Tandadzai.

It was to be Maphosa's second goal at Barbourfields Stadium in as many games.

Bosso suddenly went on the rampage and could have added a third had Cleopas Dube been more composed in the 57th minute when he headed a Kangwa cross over the bar. A minute later Maphosa's wide pass to the right found a rushing Mambare who roasted his man and brought in a cross that found a well positioned Dube who did well to head the ball downwards in an effort to deceive Tandadzai but quite unfortunate for the tall striker, the ball bounced over the goalkeeper and the post. In the 67th minute, Maphosa released a pile driver from about 40 metres that hit the cross bar with the goalkeeper beaten.

Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu then brought in Milton for Njabulo while Heritein Masuku replaced Maphosa.

Twelve minutes after his introduction, Milton struck. Hillary Madzivanyika, who is asserting his position in the Highlanders midfield, was brought down on the far side as Bosso were attacking the Mpilo end.

Milton took the responsibility and against all odds, brought in a curling free kick that hit the nests sending Bosso supporters into wild celbrations.

M Diya, S Munawa, B Kangwa, D Ndlovu, I Mapuranga, H Madzivanyika, M Maphosa (H Masuku 77th min), M Mambare, B Chikaka, N Ncube (M Ncube 70th min),  C Dube(P Moyo 64th min) Unused subs: H Moyo, L Nkomo, B Ncube, A Sibanda
Buffaloes: C Tandadzani, S Nkata, F Banda, N Musvipa, P Chandisaita, P Matizanadzo, T Mareya (R Mwenga 60th min), A Dzumbunu, W Sithole( M Mageja 46th min), J Muzokomba, S Sibanda (D Zimbago 60th min) Unused subs: E Dzumbunu, P Alfasi, B Mwandimutsira, L Chakoroma

Source - chronicle