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Bosso closes the gap

by Staff reporter
09 Oct 2016 at 07:38hrs | Views
Chapungu  0 - 1 Highlanders
A simple goal by Prince Dube a minute before the end ensured Highlanders stayed very much in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer championship race with victory over a hard to crack Chapungu at Ascot Stadium yesterday.

The victory, the sixth in a row was, however, marred by ugly scenes with the Highlanders fans invading the pitch when Dube scored and when the match ended. There were skirmishes in the changing rooms with Chapungu veteran striker Philip Marufu accused of attacking Highlanders players and officials at the end of the match. Highlanders coach Erol Akbay castigated Chapungu for their behaviour and put it plainly that he does not think that they belong to the Premier League.

Akbay was denied an opportunity to inspect the pitch prior to the teams warming up which saw him being involved in a scuffle with Chapungu officials.

"I have no idea what they are doing in the Premier League, for 20 minutes they made us wait outside and after we came inside they make us wait for 15 minutes to get into the dressing room after that we cannot check how the field is looking like. This is what they do, they must respect opponents, even now they are fighting in the changing rooms. I have been a coach for 20 years I have never seen this, they must just go back to Division One,'' said Akbay.

Away from the controversy, Dube's strike, his fifth for the season and his first goal since he last scored in the 2-0 triumph over Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium in May made sure Bosso walked away with the three points. Bosso had before not beaten Waru Waru at home since they returned to the top flight in 2014.

Highlanders took their points tally to 50, the same as second placed Caps United who are in action against Border Strikers in Beitbridge this afternoon. Crucially for Highlanders, they are just a point away from table topping FC Platinum who were beaten 2-1 by Harare City in the capital city yesterday.

Simon Munawa almost opened the scoring for Bosso in the eighth minute when his shot rattled the underside of the upright with Chapungu goalkeeper Stephen Mazingi a beaten man in the 21st minute. Allan Tavarwisa almost caught Highlanders napping in the 26th minute with a snap shot inside the box but found Ariel Sibanda equal to the task.

Akbay brought in seasoned striker Ralph Matema in the 59th minute for midfielder Allen Gahadzikwa. Matema came close to scoring in the 73rd minute with his attempt at goal blocked by Mazingi after some fine work by Gabriel Nyoni on the right.

Two minutes later, Nyoni shot over the bar as Bosso kept pushing for a goal.

Tavarwisa almost capitalised on a spill by Sibanda in the 77th minute from a corner kick. Matema was brought down outside the box in the 79th minute and from the resultant free kick taken by Erick Mudzingwa, Peter Muduhwa headed wide off target.

With the match seemingly headed for a draw, Matema showed unselfishness by setting up Dube who beat Mazingi to his left by tucking the ball into the net. Highlanders fans invaded the pitch but police managed to make some arrests.

With four games to go before the end of the season, Akbay whose mandate when he signed for Bosso was a top four finish thinks that he can give the hard to please Highlanders followers their first championship since 2006 but is well aware that it will not be easy.

"We have to look for our side, we have to win our matches, if we win our matches and hope that Platinum and Caps drop points and today they drop points I hear now. We have one point between Platinum and us I am very happy today. We have four games, it is not easy, one point is not so much, Caps United let us not forget it they are playing tomorrow(today). We can do it, we go for it now, it is more serious than before, four games not an easy job, hopefully I can give the supporters what they want this year,'' said Akbay.

Chapungu coach John Nyikadzino felt that a fair result would have been a draw. His view was that Highlanders showed more character and wanted the win more than them. Asked on the behaviour of Marufu, Nyikadzino said he had not witnessed the scuffle and was getting conflicting reports on what really transpired.


Chapungu: Stephen Mazingi, Johnson Mabhugu, Charles Mativenga, Blessed Mbavarira, Blessing Zabula, Collen Kwaramba, Gift Phiri, Agrippa Peperere (Ngonya 49 minutes), Allen Tavarwisa, (Khumbula 88 minutes) Xolani Ncube (Mukombwe 60 minutes), Philip Marufu

Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Rahman Kutsanzira, Simon Munawa, Prince Dube, Tendai Ndlovu, Peter Muduhwa, Tendai Ngulube, Erick Mudzingwa, Gabriel Nyoni, Benson Phiri, Allen Gahadzikwa (Matema 59 minutes).

Source - online