Kiglon Bird (1) 1
Pint-sized midfielder-cum-striker Dominic Benati scored a beauty as Kiglon Bird collected maximum points in an exciting mid-week Premier Soccer League match played at Gwanzura Stadium on Wednesday.
It was hard-running Martin Vengesayi who initiated the move on the right flank, leaving Highlanders defensive duo of Gilbert Banda and Innocent Mapuranga for dead, before his back heel was met by the alert Benati who fired home to beat the outdrawn Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda in the 27th minute.
The match started at a hectic pace with the hosts threatening to overrun their opponents.
As early as the eighth minute, Vengesayi was at the end of a Thomas Magorimbo pass but his effort went off the target.
Vengesayi was back to haunt Highlanders six minutes later when Highlanders’ attack was intercepted. Magorimbo released Benati who was not selfish and spotted the unmarked Vengesayi shot over the bar.
Kiglon Bird goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu proved why he was called up for national duty when he denied Rahman Kutsanzira after Simbarashe Gate had intercepted a Magorimbo pass.
Nyamupanedengu parried Kutsanzira’s blistering shot for a corner kick.
After Benati’s goal, Bosso’s effort to come back into the match with Francis Kanda, Gate and Kutsanzira combining well, fell to naught.
Midfield maestro Eric Mudzingwa had a chance to pull one back for Bosso after Magorimbo failed to clear a Gift Lunga cross, but his weak shot at goal was easily collected by Nyamupanedengu.
After the half-time pep-talk, Highlanders came back a fired up side but the equaliser was elusive for the Bulawayo giants.
Sensing danger in the middle of the park, Lloyd Mutasa pulled out young Denver Mukamba for veteran midfielder Irvine Tinarwo.
In trying to add firepower upfront, Highlanders introduced Chipo Tsodzo for Bhekithemba Ndlovu, but still the veteran player could not redeem the visitors.
Speaking after the match, Mutasa said: “I was under pressure to win this match. I hope that win will take us up the ladder.”
Highlanders assistant coach Mkhuphali Masuku said Kiglon Bird were better prepared than his side.
“Our boys were not prepared to die for the team. You saw how Kiglon Bird players were running.. They were prepared to do anything for their team,” Masuku said.
Meanwhile, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) has sanctioned the Highlanders-Jomo Cosmos Ubuntu Derby Cup international friendly match to be played at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
PSL executive secretary Cuthbert Mutandwa yesterday said, Bosso had been given the green- light to participate in the international friendly match which is aimed at fighting xenophobia.
M Nyamupanedengu, T Magorimbo, D Benati, G Bhello, D Mukamba, (I Tinarwo) M Vengesayi, (V Madamombe 82nd min), S Chitsamba, D Chafa, J Marufu, W Mkudo (Kamhapa C 74th min), E Chitato
A Sibanda, G Banda, S Gate (T Mapara 45th), P Kabwe, (J Ngodzo 45th), F Kanda, R Kutsanzira, G Lunga, I mapuranga, E Mudzingwa, B Ndlovu (C Tsodzo 65th min), Z Ngodzo