Highlanders . . . . . . . (2) 7
Quelaton . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
Highlanders fired seven goals past struggling Quelaton to show they mean serious business in the 2012 Castle Lager Premiership as they dished out a classy performance at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
The last time Highlanders won 7-1 was against Zimbabwe Saints in 1990 at the same venue.
Dynamos held the record for this year’s highest score after they crushed Blue Rangers 6-0 at Rufaro Stadium.
It was substitute Ozias Zibande’s top-of-the-shelf goal in the 90th minute that stole the show as the young forward notched a brace in the last 19 minutes of the game that he played.
Highlanders have stretched their lead on the log-standings to 36 points from 16 matches and coach Kelvin Kaindu is happy that the Bulawayo football giants have gone on a 16-match unbeaten run.
“We came in as a different team from the word go. It’s good for us that we have gone 16 matches unbeaten but we will be taking each match as it comes,” Kaindu said.
Milton Ncube, who also scored a brace, set up the young Zibande on the last minute of the game and the youngster rifled a gem of a goal that put the final nail into Quelaton’s coffin in the exciting encounter.
Six minutes earlier, Zibande had capitalised on a fluff by Quelaton goalkeeper Freedom Magaba, who failed to safely collect Honest Moyo’s in-swinger and the striker easily tapped the ball in.
Milton’s brace took him to nine goals and he scored the opener 36 minutes into the game with a thunderbolt just from outside the Quelaton penalty box, which deflected off defender Zibusiso Sibanda and eluded Magaba, who had dived for a save.
Bhekimpilo Ncube, who had a bad start, rose to the occasion three minutes later after a brilliant move by man-of-the-match Peter “Rio” Moyo, who set him up inside the box and he also fired a stinger which beat Magaba all systems out.
Six minutes into the second half, striker Beaven Chikaka was brought down inside the box by defender Zibusisio Sibanda and up-stepped Bosso shot-stopper Ariel Sibanda who converted. Ealier in the match Milton had a penalty saved by Magaba after Gracious Mleya had handled inside the box.
Milton banged in his second of the day in the 60th minute after a build up from Moyo and the impressive striker-turned-defender Bruce Kangwa.
Kangwa sent in a cross from the left flank and Milton placed the ball out of Magaba’s reach near the left-upright post.
Kangwa was again in the thick of things, beautifully exchanging passes with substitute Honest, whose cross was met with a powerful header by Masimba Mambare that put Bosso four up.
Then Zibande’s two goals sealed the game with Quelaton getting their consolation through a spot kick by Magaba after veteran forward Chipo Tsodzo was hacked down by Highlanders skipper Innocent Mapuranga.
Quelaton was totally outclassed by Highlanders, whom they held to a 1-1 draw a few weeks earlier and their only chance of scoring throughout the game was in the 30th minute when Eddy Nkulungo’s effort was directed straight into Ariel’s hands from a Tsodzo pass.
Quelaton assistant coach Simba Rusike said his boys lost concentration. He believes Quelaton still has a chance to survive relegation despite the drubbing.