Highlanders claim top spot after win

By Ricky Zililo in BULAWAYO

Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
Harare City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

Highlanders moved to the top of the Castle Lager Premiership table, courtesy of a miscued cross from the right flank by Zimbabwe international Kudakwashe Mahachi that caught Harare City’s goalkeeper Nomore John by surprise at Barbourfields yesterday.

Harare City coach Bigboy Mawiwi described it as a “wonder goal” and that his team had to lose in this cruel fashion sums up the misery they have endured this season.

Highlanders even failed to capitalise on numerical advantage for the last 10 minutes of the game after the visitors’ right-back Raymond Uchena was given his second yellow card for a late tackle on Rahman Kutsanzira.
Kudakwashe Mahachi (right)

It was a scrappy display by Bosso but they can take solace in that they managed to grind the result and take their points’ tally to 16 from their eight matches, the same as second-placed How Mine who have an inferior goal difference.

Even that 52nd minute miracle goal could not bring the best out of Bosso as they lacked fluidity that they displayed in their last Premiership game at Barbourfields when they dismantled CAPS United 4-0.

The result might not be a true reflection of what transpired on the field as Harare City did their home work, managed to shut Highlanders’ wing play and went on to congest the midfield making “lucky Warrior” Peter “Rio” Moyo, who started ahead of Welcome Ndiweni, to look like an ordinary player.

Moyo failed to stamp his authority as a playmaker by either holding too much to the ball or failing to provide that killer pass to the striking pair of Milton Ncube and Ozias Zibande.

Six minutes into the game Harare City’s striker Martin Vengesayi was released by Talent Chawapihwa on the left side, he charged into the home team’s box and sent in a dangerous pass behind Bosso’s defence but William Manondo was a shade late to connect.

Poor finishing let down the Sunshine City Boys again in the 20th minute when Manondo dribbled past Innocent Mapuranga and with Highlanders defenders Dumisani Ndlovu and Simon Munawa back-tracking and opening an avenue for the forward, the Harare City player made a wrong decision that saw him send his effort over the bar.

Highlanders’ first attempt at goal in the opening stanza was from Kutsanzira eight minutes before the break when he dribbled past Tongai Chiworeso before trying to sneak a shot in the near post which was pushed for corner.

There was a scare for Bosso, with 10 minutes left before the end of the match, but Felix Chindungwe threw his body on the ground to block a Crybet Muvuti goal-bound shot.

“We played well and our game plan to contain Highlanders worked but lack of concentration by the goalkeeper cost us. It was a wonder goal that Highlanders got,” said Mawiwi.

Highlanders’ assistant coach Mark Mathe was happy they managed to grind the result they wanted.

“This was a difficult game because Harare City was compact and their transition on counter play was good. We are happy with the result,” Mathe said.

Teams
Highlanders: A. Sibanda, S. Munawa, B. Kangwa, D. Ndlovu, I. Mapuranga (F. Chindungwe 53rd min), E. Mudzingwa, R. Kutsanzira, P. Moyo, K. Mahachi, O. Zibande (W. Ndiweni 73rd min), M. Ncube (C. Sibanda 73rd min)

Harare City: N. John, M. Diro (R. Uchena 32nd min), T. Chiworeso, A. Chiveya, D. Kutyauripo, C. Dickson, N. Ziwini, J. Jam, M. Vengesai (C. Muvuti 59th min), W. Manondo, T. Chawapihwa (M. Mburayi 61st min) The Chronicle

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