Highlanders drop points at home

By Mzingaye Sibanda in BULAWAYO
Highlanders . . . . . . . . (1) 1
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . (1) 1

HIGHLANDERS kept their unbeaten start to the season intact but, after being held by FC Platinum at Barbourfields yesterday, they will feel that these were two points dropped in their Castle Lager Premiership campaign.

Bosso came from behind for the first time this season to salvage a draw after Donald Ngoma had given the platinum miners the lead in the 25th minute.

Ngoma tapped in an Allen Gahadzikwa cut back after beating the offside trap after good work by Thabani Kamusoko, who had a superb display in the middle of the park.

Bosso drop points at home
Charles Sibanda pulled one back for Highlanders in the 40th minute, heading home a cross from the right.

It was the in-form Sibanda’s first goal against his former paymasters and fifth of the season.

FC Platinum exposed Highlanders’ midfield as they dominated the first half with Kamusoko enjoying a free role.

Erick Mudzingwa failed to stamp his authority as he was forced to cover for many passengers in his side who included rightback Simon Munawa, Kuda Mahachi and Milton Ncube.

Marshal Mudehwe gave the hosts a torrid afternoon too while, in contrast, Ncube, Mahachi and Knox Mutizwa did little to support Mudzingwa.

Mudehwe almost gave FC Platinum the lead in the 11th minute after beating out-of-sorts Munawa on the right flank but his shot went straight into Ariel Sibanda’s hands.

Highlanders took time to gain momentum and Mutizwa missed Bosso’s first clear chance in the 24th minute after Mahachi had sent an inviting cross into the box.

The visitors continued where they left in the second half as Munawa was caught napping by Gahadzikwa in the 51st minute but Ngoma missed the target.

Two minutes later Michelle Katsvairo had his stinger from the left saved by Ariel.

Kelvin Kaindu pulled out Ncube for Gabriel Nyoni, who was returning from an injury suffered against Shabanie Mine two months ago.

Nyoni had a chance in the 70th minute after exchanging passes with Ozias Zibanda but his curler went wide.

To neutralise Kamusoko, Bosso introduced Welcome Ndiweni for Zibande in the 74th minute in a move that brought Mudzingwa back into the game.

Highlanders started to dominate play and continued in search of the elusive winner but failed to crack the miners’ defence.

Lloyd Mutasa, the FC Platinum coach, was a happy man after picking a point against Bosso in Bulawayo.

“It was a good game and a draw was a fair result for both teams, it is a good sign and a step in the right direction if we managed to pick a point at Barbourfields Stadium.

“We failed to utilise all our chances and now we have to go back to the drawing board,” said Mutasa.

Kaindu said they were happy to have picked a point to maintain their unbeaten run.

“We failed to pick up maximum points, it’s the first time we came from behind, we were exposed on the right flank with Munawa in the first half. At least, we remain unbeaten but the draws are worrying,” he said.

Highlanders: A. Sibanda, D. Ndlovu, I. Mapuranga, B. Kangwa, S. Munawa, E. Mudzingwa, K. Mutizwa (C. Dube 80th min), M. Ncube( G. Nyoni 65th min), K. Mahachi, C. Sibanda, O. Zibande (W. Ndiweni 74th min)

FC Platinum: P. Mhari, S. Shoko, Q. Amini, G. Bello, J. Marufu, T. Kamsoko, M. Katsvairo (W. Musona 76th min), A. Gahadzikwa (O. Chirwa 83rd min), S. Sibanda (A. Katebe 53rd min), D. Ngoma, M. Mudehwe.
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