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Bulawayo Chiefs survive chop despite loss to Bosso

by Staff reporter
19 Nov 2018 at 05:42hrs | Views
Chiefs FC's Lucky Ndlela beats his marker Nigel Makumbe in a match played at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday.
Bulawayo Chiefs 2-3 Highlanders
NEWMAN Sianchali's goal at the stroke of fulltime completed Highlanders' second half comeback, leaving Bulawayo Chiefs players dejected after blowing a 2-0 first half lead.

Despite losing to Highlanders, Chiefs survived relegation from the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League following Triangle United's 4-2 win against Nichrut who completed the list of four teams that have been axed from the topflight.

When Sianchali struck with the last kick of the game, Chiefs players saw their world collapsing, thinking that their survival chances were slim heading to the last game against ZPC Kariba, unknown to them that Triangle had done them a favour.

Chiefs had started the first half on fire, forcing Highlanders into making mistakes and breaching Bosso's backline on numerous occasions.

Highlanders found themselves trailing in the seventh minute, when Chiefs went ahead through Farau Matare, who beat the offside trap coming from a blind side before selling Bosso goalie Ariel Sibanda a dummy and then chipping into the net.

In the 23rd minute, Matare again breached the Highlanders backline but Sibanda reacted quickly to clear the ball to safety. Highlanders were restricted into making long-range attempts which barely troubled Chiefs players.

Sibanda came to Highlanders' rescue, keeping scoreline respectable with a fine 36th minute save that denied Matare a brace.

There was nothing that Sibanda could do to stop a Lucky Ndlela's 40th minute goal, which appeared to have won Chiefs maximum points.

Bosso were caught on a quick counter attack, with Matare who troubled Highlanders' defenders setting through Ndlela on the blind side and the former Bantu Rovers midfielder kept his cool as he slotted the ball past an advancing Sibanda.

Chiefs went into the break with what looked like a healthy lead, but Highlanders had other plans and came back from the breather to play some meaningful football.

Having failed to assert themselves in the midfield as they played second fiddle to their opponents, Bosso coach Madinda Ndlovu made a tactical double substitution in the 49th minute, introducing midfielders Brian Banda and Denzel Khumalo for Nigel Makumbe and Tafadzwa Sibanda.

That was the turning point for Bosso's game plan as they forced Chiefs to their half and began to dictate the pace in the midfield. Banda scored Highlanders' first goal in the 56th minute, completing a move he started after exchanging passes with Tinashe Makanda.

Chiefs goalkeeper David Bizabani who had a great game between the sticks made two stunning saves in the 67th and 70th minutes, denying Sianchali and Gabriel Nyoni goals. Makanda then equalised for Bosso in the 80th minute, pouncing on a loose ball inside the box.

Chiefs began to "kill" the time, embarking on time wasting antics as they appeared to be content with a point. Bizabani was yellow carded for time wasting.

Bosso kept pressing and on the last minute of injury time, Khumalo brilliantly released the ball to Sianchali who fired past an advancing Bizabani.

"It was a game we could have given up following a bad start for us which led to those two goals.

"What kept us going was that we didn't want to lose twice to the same team and that is why I think we won the game.

"At halftime we had to revisit our strategy and looked at the areas we could exploit.

"We needed to balance the midfield and we took our vice-captain Gabriel Nyoni and Sianchali to the wings because they had pace.

"We played the ball behind Chiefs midfield and went for the second ball and it paid off," said Ndlovu.

Chiefs tactician Thulani Sibanda said: "Two things led to our defeat. We had to pull out our top man (Matare) because of injury and that allowed Highlanders defenders to play because no one could pressure them.

"Secondly, Our energy levels were a bit questionable and credit goes to Highlanders for their tactical ability to turn the game at us. They noticed that we had overloaded our midfield."


Bulawayo Chiefs:

David Bizabani, Malvin Mkolo, Moses Majika (Kundishora Chakanyuka, 89th minute), Lee Matizirofa, Sikhumbalani Dube, Shadreck Nyahwa, Takunda Muzuva, Gracious Muleya, Lucky Ndlela (Sheppard Mhlanga, 62nd minute), Perfect Chikwende, Farau Matare (Stanley Ngala, 56th minute)


Ariel Sibanda, McClive Phiri, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Tendai Ndlovu, Peter Muduhwa, Adrian Silla (Vincent Moyo, 81st minute), Gabriel Nyoni, Nigel Makumbe (Brian Banda, 49th minute), Tinashe Makanda, Tafadzwa Sibanda (Denzel Khumalo, 49th minute), Newman Sianchali

Results Saturday:
FC Platinum 1-0 Ngezi Platinum Stars
Herentals 0-0 Chicken Inn
Bulawayo City 4-1 Caps United
Harare City 0-0 ZPC Kariba


Bulawayo Chiefs 2-3 Highlanders
Dynamos 2-2 Mutare City
Triangle United 4-2 Nichrut
Black Rhinos 1-0 Shabanie Mine
Chapungu 0-0 Yadah

Source - chronicle