Highlanders (1) 1
A fifteenth minute goal by midfielder Eric Mudzingwa ensured Highlanders made it seven wins in a row as they rolled over former champions Monomotapa in a Premiership match played at Barbourfields Stadium Sunday.
It could have been more for Highlanders but lack of accuracy in front of goal dealt the Bulawayo giants a blow and after the match coach Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku agreed his boys were lacking the scoring touch.
“We created a lot of chances but we could not score. Despite that I am happy with the result. We could have scored more goals but we were just unlucky,” Masuku said. Despite the paucity of goals, it was all joy for the Highlanders supporters when referee Bekezela Makeka blew the final whistle to end the match after thousands of fans had braved heavy afternoon rains to watch the match.
Credit goes to Highlanders playmaker Francis Kanda, who, after some serious hard work in the Monomotapa half spotted an unmarked Mudzingwa who blasted the ball past goalkeeper Tapiwa Mafunga to assure the Bulawayo giants 21 points in seven successive victories in the league.
In yesterday’s match Masuku made a few changes to his team, starting Gilbert Banda and Gift Lunga for Brighton Dube and Lawson Nkomo in defence.
Lunga, an attacking defender was brought down outside Monomotapa’s penalty area in the 20th minute but his stinger from the resulatant freekick met an equally alert Mafunga.
The defender was at it again in the 34th minute with another thunderbolt but was once again denied by Mafunga.
Highlanders came into the second half more determined but something seemed to lack upfront with Mudzingwa, Kanda and Joel Ngodzo attacking left right and centre but still the goals were not coming.
Monomotapa’s only chance at goal came in the 50th minute with their kingpin Kudakwashe Musharu but he fired off target with only goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda to beat.Monomotapa coach Taurayi Mangwiro conceded defeat.
“They conceded a goal due to lapse of concentration and they struggled a lot in the first half. We had many stray passes. The boys have themselves to blame,” Mangwiro said.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, Z Ngodzo, G Lunga, I Mapuranga, G Banda, M Mupera, J Ngodzo (R Kutsanzira 86th min) , E Mudzingwa, F Kanda (A Mbaiwa 86th min) , B Ndlovu, P Kabwe
Monomotapa: T Mafunga, T Kumbuyani (J Mutambiranwa 65th min), O Mushure, L Simango, F Mangezi, T Munyanduri, B Mapfumo, T Samanja, C Chiutsa (M Kawashu 82nd min), K Musharu, T Nyamandwe