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Bosso keep title aspirations alive

by Staff reporter
31 Jul 2017 at 06:49hrs | Views
Shabanie Mine  0-2 Highlanders

HIGHLANDERS kept their Castle Lager Premiership soccer title aspirations alive when they convincingly beat Shabanie Mine at Maglas yesterday.

The victory was so sweet for Bosso as their coach, Erol Akbay, rushed to the dressing rooms soon after the final whistle to dance with his boys and had to be followed to be reminded of a post-match interview.

Godfrey Makaruse's 6th minute strike and a superb goal from Ralph Matema in the 76th  minute was enough to put back Highlanders in contention for the league title.

"You have to forgive me guys because today is one of my happiest days. I had rushed to the dressing room to celebrate and if my youngster Ray Lunga had scored I think I was going to dance on the pitch.

"He is a smart guy and he created three chances and I was very happy with his performance. Today was better than last week and we will see what will happen in the remaining games.

"The good news is that we are very close to (leaders) Ngezi Platinum and we still have a very big chance to win the league title. We still have 17 games to play and I urge our fans to be patient and support the team.

"We lost a number of experienced players and  the club currently has no money to get the best players  but I have hope in the youngsters I have and I feel they just need time to gain the necessary experience," said Akbay.

It was a game which also saw sanity returning to Highlanders after the inclusion of experienced goalkeepers coach Peter "Captain Oxo" Nkomo who replaced Cosmas "Tsano" Zulu who was demoted to the juniors.

Zulu did not see eye to eye with experienced coach Amin Soma Phiri. The two were suspended this year after an altercation in Zvishavane when Bosso drew with FC Platinum.

Bosso took the lead when poor communication between defenders Nyasha Mpofu and William Mapfumo saw the two failing to clear a loose ball and the alert  Makaruse intercepted it before rifling a shot home past a badly exposed Samuel Mafukidze, in goals for the  hosts.

Highlanders continued to bombard the home team goal and the hosts were lucky to survive another onslaught as Tinashe Mapumhidze cleared a goal-bound shot from Rahman Kutsanzira in the 21st minute.

Bosso were then forced to make an  injury forced substitution when Kutsanzira was injured in the 35th minute following a clash with a Shabanie Mine defender.

Both teams failed to play their normal football due to the condition of the pitch which saw a number of players from both sides slipping each time they tried to control the ball.

Former Dynamos son Farai Mupasiri could have levelled the scores for the home side in the 37th minute  when he connected a free-kick from the right by Admire Dzumbunu but  he headed wide with goalkeeper Aerial Sibanda at the wrong side of the action.

Shabanie were more offensive after the breather which saw substitute Fredrick Muza with a chance to level the scores.

Muza was sent through by Mupasiri in the 55th minute and with goalkeeper Sibanda outdrawn, he blasted his effort to the skies with a yawning goal in front of him much to the agony of the home fans.

Ten minutes later Makuruse who was a thorn in the flesh for the home team won possession and went past Shabanie Mine defenders Mpofu and Mapfumo and released as shot which crashed on the crossbar with Mafukidze a well beaten man.

Mupasiri could not believe his eyes when he came to the end of Lloyd Nyamande in the  69th minute.

The player, who is very good in the air, outjumped the visitors' defence and headed towards goal but his effort missed the target by a few inches.

Five minutes after the miss the home team got punished once more.

A   long clearance from Allen Gahadzikwa saw Matema tussling for the ball with Mapfumo. It looked easier for the latter to clear the ball but he tried to wrestle Matema and was overpowered.

Mapfumo even tried to pull Matema's jersey from behind but the experienced player stood his ground and tapped the ball home past a badly exposed Mafukidze and the goal that signalled the death of the miners.

Shabanie Mine coach Takesure Chiragwi conceded defeat.

"We lost to Highlanders and it's part of the game. We failed to convert chances that came our way and if you do that in football you get punished. They utilised their chances and they buried us.

"We are, however, not going to cry. It's normal in football. What we need to do is to go back to the drawing board and plan for the next match. I have no excuses but we have to accept the defeat," said Chiragwi.

Shabanie Mine: S. Mafukidze, L. Nyamande, W. Mapfumo, N. Mpofu, K. Mupasiri (F. Muza 70th minute), T. Mavhunga,T Mupumha, F Mupasiri (T. Mtombeni 73rd minute), A. Dzumbunu, T Chigede (T. Chimoyo 53rd minute), W. Taderera.

Highlanders: A. Sibanda, C. Siamalonga, B. Ncube, R Kutsanzira (B. Banda 35th minute), S. Munawa, G. Makaruse (R. Lunga 80th minute), T. Ndlovu, T. Ngulube, B. Phiri, A. Gahadzikwa, R. Matema (N. Ndlovu 86th minute).

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