Bantu Rovers . . . . . . 0
Highlanders . . . . .(1) 1
A 36th-minute goal by defender Zephania Ngodzo ensured Highlanders posted their eighth-in-a-row Premiership victory under the guidance of Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku in a dull match played at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Save for the spectacular goal by the fighting Ngodzo, the match, which Highlanders dominated for the entire 90 minutes, was a drab affair although watched by a 3 000 spectators.
All credit for the goal goes to hard-working Francis Kanda, who got the ball inside Bantu Rovers’ half and spotted an unmarked Ngodzo, who did not waste time, letting off a screamer which eluded Bantu Rovers goalkeeper Liberty Chirava, and sending the Bosso fans into song and dance.
The win by the Bulawayo giants worsened Tshintsha Guluva’s woes as the Methembe Ndlovu-owned outfit is now certain to be playing in Division One next year while Bosso are sure to finish the season in a respectable position.
Despite the dominance by Highlanders in acontest lacking the ingredients of a derby, Bosso wasted several chances that could have seen them bury Bantu Rovers.
Highlanders coach Mr Cooper defended his charges saying that their tame performance went with the tension of a derby.
“It was a tense match. But that is how it is always like in all derbies. We are happy because it was a local derby but we managed to win,” Masuku said.
Bantu Rovers mentor Gift Lunga “Senior” was a bitter man.
“We played well. We were punished for not scoring goals. We are not throwing in the towel yet,” Lunga said.
The match started off at a fast pace but degenerated into a drab affair with both sides lacking the initiative to attack, leaving goalkeepers Ariel Sibanda and Chirava virtually on holiday until Ngodzo struck.
L Chirava, D Ndlovu, H Dick, K Mahachi, K Sibanda, D Phiri, R Choruma (M Nyokanhete 65th min), A Tshuma, J Ngodzo, N Masuku (M Moyo 46th min), S Dube
A Sibanda, Z Ngodzo, G Lunga, I Mapuranga, G Banda, M Mupera, E Mudzingwa, P Kabwe (R Kutsanzira 65th min), J Ngodzo (W Ndiweni 86th min), B Ndlovu, F Kanda