HomeSportSoccerHwange edge Highlanders

Hwange edge Highlanders

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Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . .0
Hwange . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1

Hwange lived up to their promise and collected maximum points against an out-of-sorts Highlanders in an exciting Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

A superb 19th-minute header by Chipangano midfielder Kennedy Kashema was all the coalminers needed to subdue the poorly-assembled Bosso outfit and leap from position 10 to seventh spot on the log table.

Hwange’s Zambian gaffer Tennant Chilumba was delighted to beat Highlanders in front of their multitude of supporters at Emagumeni.

“We really wanted to win this match and we had prepared well for the match,” Chilumba said.

Visibly agitated Highlanders coach Mkhuphali Masuku said his charges were too respectful of Hwange.“We did not apply ourselves to the game. We gave too much respect to Hwange yet it was our chance to close the gap at the top, but we still have many games to play,” Masuku said.

As Hwange continued to bombard the hosts’ goal area, Bosso captain Gilbert Banda cleared a goalward-bound ball for a corner kick in the 18th minute. Chipangano defender Munyaradzi Mungadze flighted in a beautiful corner with which Kashema made no mistake, neatly planting a header beyond the reach of Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.

Hwange were all over Highlanders in the first half with the midfield of Kashema, Nkosana Siwela and captain Gerald Ndlovu getting the better of Bosso’s immobile Louis Matawu, Simon Munawa, Eric Mudzingwa and Arnold “Majaivana” Tshuma.

Chipangano could have scored more goals, but the strikeforce of veteran Gilbert Zulu and Tongai Mangwendere did not complement the splendid performance of the midfield. Chilumba paid tribute to Zulu, but agreed his strikers lacked concentration and could have banged in more goals.

“There was a loss of concentration from the strikeforce. We have to work on the strikers when we get back home, but I would like to give credit to Gilbert Zulu. He worked very hard,” Chilumba said.

Highlanders dribbling wizard Rahman Kutsanzira could have put Bosso in the lead three minutes into the game, but his effort hit the cross-bar after being set up by Majaivana on the edge of the penalty box.

A minute later, a defensive fluff by Bosso centre-back Innocent Mapuranga could have cost the hosts, but Winston Mhango’s strike was saved by Sibanda before the ball was cleared.

Hwange were more purposeful in attack than Highlanders in the first half, but lacked the killer punch. Bosso’s Lawson Nkomo’s effort from a set piece in the 36th minute was punched away by Chipangano goalkeeper Timothy Sibanda and a cracker by Tshuma from the resultant save went off target.

Kutsanzira was at it again in the 45th minute after receiving a pass from Nkomo, but his shot missed the target.

It was Highlanders’ lackadaisical approach by the midfield, rendering no support to the solo efforts of Kutsanzira, that was most wanting for the entire match and substitutes Misheck Mburayi, Xolani Ncube and Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube could not change the complexion of the game.

It was Highlanders’ second loss at home after they were beaten 2-0 by reigning champions Motor Action three weeks ago.

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