Hwange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Highlanders . . . . . . . (1) 1
Graham Ncube ensured Highlanders gained their revenge against Hwange with a solitary effort in the first half in a lacklustre Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at the Colliery Stadium yesterday.
In the reverse fixture, Highlanders had fallen 1-0 at Barbourfields and three points yesterday ensured they stayed within shouting distance of third-placed Dynamos who have 29 points after beating Caps United 2-1 yesterday.
The Bulawayo giants have 28 points. Ncube ghosted past the Chipangano defence in the 33rd and fired a scorcher past Timothy Sibanda.
Highlanders coach Mkhuphali Masuku was delighted with his charges and overjoyed at the fans’ support.
“We came here expecting a win and that is what we got. The boys played well, our fans have stuck by us and we hope to keep them happy,” said Masuku.
The match kicked off after being graced by Highlanders sponsor and Mines minister Obert Mpofu, who gave $2 500 to both teams at the end of the match.
Hwange’s Munyaradzi Mungadze tested Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda as early as the third minute with a free- kick, but the visitors gained the lion’s share of possession with Vincent Nzombe a constant threat to the Hwange rearguard.
Nzombe’s shot in the 12th minute had Bosso fans off their seats, but he was unlucky to see his effort bounce away from goal.
The closest the coal miners got to scoring was after veteran goal poacher Gilbert Zulu beat the visitor’s offside trap and made a solitary run with the keeper to beat, only for an alert Gilbert Banda to sweep the ball from under his feet.
Hwange came from the break a more determined side with Nkosana Siwela unfortunate to see his effort glide out of play with only the keeper to beat after he had latched onto to a deft pass from midfield workhorse Winston Muhango.
In the 53rd minute things however took a turn as Bosso increased the tempo and grabbed control of the game with Louis Matawu and Rahman Kutsanzira keeping the Hwange defence at sixes and sevens through short passes and weaving runs on the flanks.
Frustration began to show in the Chipangano team as they fired several long-range shots, after failing to break into the Highlanders defence only drew abuses from the home fans.
Results at a glance
Yesterday: Hwange 0-1 Highlanders, Dynamos 2-1 Caps United, Masvingo 1- 3 Motor Action, Shabanie Mine 1-2 Black Mambas
Saturday: Kiglon 1-2 FC Platinum, Monomotapa 2-1 Chicken Inn, Shooting Stars 2-1 Zimbabwe Saints, Gunners 2-2 Blue Ribbon