Highlanders . . . . . . (0) 1
Hwange . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
A SOLITARY goal by an impressive Heritein Masuku ensured Highlanders finally collected maximum points after going for four league matches without a win when they beat Hwange in a lukewarm Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
With the win, Bosso moved to within three points of log leaders Harare City, who are on 37 points.
Before yesterday’s match, Highlanders had last won on June 2 against yesterday’s opponents with an identical scoreline at the Colliery.
It was a game of missed chances once again for the Bulawayo giants, playing against a 10-man Hwange after Isaac Masame saw red in the 70th minute for lunging at substitute Gabriel Nyoni.
“Victory has come at the right time. The last time we won, we played Hwange and what was needed was to collect maximum points,” said a relieved Bosso gaffer Kelvin Kaindu.
“This game is past and as we look ahead to Black Mambas in our next match, we need to collect maximum points.”
But it was the coming-in of substitutes Douglas Sibanda for Mthulisi Mpofu in the 65th minute and Bruce Kangwa for Knox Mutizwa in the 57th minute and Masuku’s goal that brought life into the game with Hwange also putting up a fight especially in midfield and defence and relying on the counter-raid.
Nyoni came in for injured Beaven Chikaka in the 43rd minute.
The coalminers head coach Nation Dube was full of praise for his charges despite the loss.
“We just gave the game away. The boys really played well. I am not disappointed at all. We still have 12 games to go and we cannot talk about relegation now. We just have to keep on fighting,” said Dube.
The goal was not one of the pretty ones with Masuku reacting to a spilled effort by the Hwange goalkeeper to roll the ball into an empty net on 66 minutes, but the Bosso camp will care less.
The game started off at a fast pace with Milton Ncube testing the goalkeeper with a header early on before he hit the cross bar with another attempt.
Masuku shot wide inside the box as Bosso wasted opportunities in the first half.
Hwange’s only chance of scoring came in the 57th minute when Erick Mudzingwa, playing in unfamiliar left-back position, miscued on a clearance, but the coalminers veteran striker Gilbert Zulu could not get his feet right.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, B Tshuma, E Mudzingwa, D Ndlovu, I Mapuranga, S Munawa, K Mutizwa (B Kangwa 57th minute), M Maphosa (D Sibanda 65th minute), B Chikaka (G Nyoni 43rd minute), M Ncube, H Masuku
Hwange: T Sibanda, T Chando (M Mpofu 46th minute), M Mungadze, D Boriwondo, D Ndlovu, A Chuma, E Rusike (T Chese 63rd minute), N Siwela, G Zulu, F Vimisayi (P Dube 75th minute), I Masame (red card 70th minute)