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Madinda on a roll

by Staff reporter
09 Apr 2018 at 07:11hrs | Views
Highlanders 1-0 Nichrut
HIGHLANDERS survived a nervy finish as they defended their second half goal by Godfrey Makaruse against Nichrut to take their unbeaten run in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League to five games.

Makaruse's solitary goal came in the 51st minute, heading in a Brian Banda cross from a setpiece.

Backed by about 10 000 plus fans, Highlanders started the game on fire, dominating the newly promoted Premiership side and should have won by a wider margin had they been clinical in front of goal.

Highlanders' bright start to the season seems to have given their supporters reason to believe and the exciting passing game, punctuated by some individual brilliance from players like midfielder Nigel Makumbe, Makaruse, new signing McClive Phiri and the stability brought in front of central defence by Adrian Silla is just breathtaking.

And yesterday, Nichrut, who drew 0-0 against Bosso in a pre-season match, came to Barbourfields Stadium with a strategy to sit back and catch Highlanders on counter attacks.

That decision could have backfired for the Midlanders had Highlanders been clinical, especially in the first half.

Bosso were comfortable with the ball, patiently building from the back, through the midfield.

An overlapping Phiri had his shot from outside the box slightly missing the target in the 11th minute and two minutes later it was Gabriel Nyoni who made a mess of a Makumbe pass from the left. The diminutive attacking midfielder, Makumbe, left his markers for dead on the left and sent in a pass which Nyoni failed to connect with a first touch.

Five minutes later, Highlanders' central midfielder Brian Banda failed to direct his shot on target off a corner kick rebound.

Nichrut burst out of their shell, showing how dangerous they are on counter attack in the 22nd minute, bringing the best of saves from Highlanders goalkeeper, Ariel Sibanda, who denied Kudakwashe Sibanda in a one-on-one situation.

Ex-Dynamos and Hwange winger Farai Vimisai had threaded through a sumptuous defence splitting pass that Kudakwashe should have buried.

Vimisai also tried a long-range effort as the game approached halftime, but the ball hardly troubled Ariel.

Highlanders went on to finish the half strongly, enjoying superior dominance at the same time evading dangerous tackles by Nichrut's players who tried in vain to frustrate Bosso players from playing their passing game.

When the second half resumed, it was Nichrut who were presented with a perfect scoring opportunity in the 50th minute when Bravie Sibanda's shot went through a cluster of players, but Ariel parried the ferocious attempt to safety.

A minute later, Nichrut paid dearly for their physical approach as Bosso shot into the lead from a set piece. Highlanders won a freekick deep in Nichrut's half after right back Gerald Bhero had brought Makumbe down. Banda then sent into the box a perfect delivery which Makaruse headed past a bemused Nichrut goalkeeper Tafadzwa Jabangwe.

Nichrut coach, John Nyikadzino, felt his goalkeeper should have done better to stop the goal.

"I think we made a silly mistake and I don't understand how our goalkeeper failed to stop that goal. It was an easy goal to concede but congratulations to Highlanders," said Nyikadzino.

Highlanders coach, Madinda Ndlovu, while content with the result, felt they were wasteful.

"I think we played a very general game, very good ball management in the first half. We dominated play and controlled proceedings but once again, we took too long to convert the good play to goals. Credit goes to the boys for fighting so hard," said Ndlovu.

Teams
Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, McClive Phiri, Honest Moyo, Charlton Siamalonga, Peter Muduhwa, Adrian Silla, Gabriel Nyoni, Brian Banda, Ozias Zibande (Bukhosi Ncube, 83rd minute), Nigel Makumbe, Godfrey Makaruse (Newman Sianchali, 83rd minute)
Nichrut: Tafadzwa Jabangwe, Gerald Bhero, Nkosilathi Moyo, David Boriwondo, Asani Nhongo, Sheppard Sithole, Bravie Sibanda (Nigel Mpinduki, 72nd minute), Tatenda Hapazari (Andrew Kanchwachwa, 72nd minute), Kudakwashe Sibanda (Victor Moyo, 49th minute), Ephraim Mwinga, Farai Vimisai
Results at a glance
Saturday: ZPC Kariba 0-0 Dynamos, Bulawayo City 0-1 Black Rhinos, Yadah 1-2 Triangle United, Ngezi Platinum 1-0 Chicken Inn, Harare City 2-0 Bulawayo Chiefs
Yesterday: Caps United 2-0 Herentals, Shabanie Mine 1-1 Mutare City, Chapungu 0-2 FC Platinum, Highlanders 1-0 Nichrut

Source - chronicle

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