Highlanders . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Mamelodi Sundowns . . . . . . (2) 2
Report by Fortune Mbele
NYASHA Mushekwi’s two goals in the first 20 minutes sent Highlanders packing in front of their home crowd against visiting Super Diski outfit Mamelodi Sundowns in an exciting international friendly match played at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
The former Warriors and Caps United striker scored his first goal 13 minutes into the first half after a cross by right-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele.
The cross eluded Bosso central defender Erick Mudzingwa and amid the defensive mix-up, the bulky Mushekwi easily poked the ball past goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.
With Highlanders still ruing that early goal after a good start to the game, Mushekwi was at it again three minutes later with a thunderbolt from inside the box after being set up by twin striker Edward Manqele from the run on the right flank.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane showered praises on Mushekwi after the match.
“Nyasha gives us the comfort when he scores the goals,” Mosimane said after the game. He also praised stand-in captain Esrom Nyandoro, who dominated the midfield as he thwarted every Bosso move in the centre with the help of Jabulani Shongwe, who got the better of the Highlanders pair of Peter “Rio” Moyo and Simon Munawa.
“Esrom is key. He controlled the midfield and I wish he was three years younger,” Mosimane quipped.
Moyo and Munawa kept an impressive Mthulisi Maphosa a busy man in midfield as he literally and tirelessly worked by himself for the entire 90 minutes against their opponents. However, Highlanders gaffer Kelvin Kaindu, who sat with only the medical team on the bench while the visitors had more than four members of their technical staff, said he was happy with the team, but felt he was being overworked.
“I am happy with the fitness levels of the boys. But it has been too much work for me having to deal with 30 to 50 players and the goalkeepers on my own. I am being overworked. There is still room for improvement,” said the Zambian national, who awaits the appointment of assistant coaches after the club’s elections which will be held on Sunday. Mosimane was on cloud nine with the performance of his team.
“We were more organised technically. We started off slowly, but we caught them on the break. It was a good game for us. We need this pressure. We need to see how we fare with other teams,” Mosimame said.