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Bosso’s Colliery curse


HIGHLANDERS once more bowed out of the Mbada Diamonds Cup in the early stages falling to 2012 bogey side Monomotapa in the quarter-final at the Colliery Stadium in Hwange on Sunday.

Report by Fortune Mbele, Sports Reporter

Bosso were two goals ahead of Monomotapa in the first 20 minutes, but could not hold on to that lead, allowing the Harare side to come back from behind to score three goals to forge ahead to meet Dynamos in the semi-finals.

In the first edition of the tournament last year, Highlanders fell to lowly Zimbabwe Saints in the first round, crashing out 6-5 in a penalty-shootout at the Colliery.

They were under coach Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku then, but this time around, a different Highlanders outfit under Zambian gaffer Kelvin Kaindu was subdued by an impressive Biggie Zuze-coached Monos at the Colliery to bow out of the country’s richest football tournament.

Was it because Bosso players had gone on industrial action last week and had shoddy preparation for the quarter-final tie as they wore out in the second half or Monomotapa was just too good for the Bulawayo football giants?

Monomotapa are a well-oiled and stubborn side, led by youngsters who are determined to show their quality and achieve their goals.

They have never won a cup competition since promotion despite being crowned the 2008 champions. They are third in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League race and, besides Highlanders, have already beaten Dynamos and Caps United. They, Monoz, have been more solid than the big giants and are consistent in the title race.

Although admitting his charges lost concentration in the second half, Kaindu down-played the issue of the strike as having affected Bosso, saying the better team won.

Monomotapa became the only team to beat Highlanders twice this year after stopping their unbeaten run in the Castle Lager Premiership with a 3-0 emphatic win in Harare before parcelling them out of the Mbada Diamonds Cup.

It was the trio of man-of-the-match Ronald Chitiyo, Russell Madamombe and anchorman Tendai Ngulube that destroyed Highlanders giving them no room in the centre.

Ngulube played a pivotal role behind the roving Chitiyo, who gave the Bosso central defence of Erick Mudzingwa and jittery Dumisani Ndlovu a hard time while midfielders Mthulisi Maphosa and Simon Munawa were totally out of their game.

After the match on Sunday, Ngulube said he believed they were on their way to winning the coveted silverware.

“I am very happy with the way I played against Highlanders today and I believe that after beating Highlanders we are going to reach the final and will win the tournament. Highlanders would have been the only difficult team for us,” Ngulube said.

Monos cancelled out two quick goals by Bhekimpilo Ncube, who had a wonderful game in the first half, involving himself in every move, but was let down by Maphosa and Munawa who could not click.

The former league champions, who got their three goals from Osborne Mukuradare — who scored a hatrick in the 3-0 win in Harare — Madamombe, Hillary Mugoniwa and have a tough encounter in the semi-final against FC Platinum who beat Shabanie Mine 1-0 at Mandava on Saturday.

Dynamos, who beat Gunners 3-0 at Baghdad in Kwekwe on Sunday, will face Caps United, who defeated army-side Buffaloes 2-0 at Gibbo Stadium in Triangle on Saturday.

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