Highlanders . . . . . . . . . (2) 3
Triangle . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
EXCITING Gabriel Nyoni scored probably the fastest goal of the first round as Highlanders cruised through to the quarter-finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup with a narrow victory over Triangle in an exciting match played at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Nyoni thrust Highlanders into the lead after just 120 seconds of play before he completed his double in the 31st minute while Njabulo “Tshiki’ Ncube grabbed the third in the 55th minute.
Triangle got their goals from Charles Makoto in the 15th minute while Pasca Manhanga scored the second for Triangle in the 63rd minute.
Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu was ecstatic over the victory.
“The game was very exciting because both teams put up a good effort. As for the goal which was scored from the blind side it happens in football. We have been concentrating on trying to score goals and maybe that is why we lost concentration in defence. I am happy that we scored three goals because we have not done so in a long time,” said the Zambian gaffer.
Talkative Triangle coach Gishon Ntini was not available for comment as he vanished into the dressing room after the match.
Nyoni got the early goal for Highlanders when Milton Ncube exchanged passes with Lawson Nkomo and Mthulisi Maphosa.
Maphosa, who was lurking on the blind side, then headed the ball to Nyoni who made no mistake heading past Ashley Reyners, in goal for Triangle.
Two minutes later Nkomo’s cross found Peter “Rio” Moyo inside the box, but Reyners denied Highlanders their second goal.
Triangle had a chance to equalise, but Lameck Nhamo shot wide inside the box after being set up by veteran striker Limited Chikafa after nine minutes.
The match continued on a very fast pace resulting in Triangle getting the equaliser in the 15th minute when Makoto took advantage of Highlanders’ defensive lapse in concentration to score.
Nyoni then put Highlanders back in the lead when Nkomo found Njabulo before the former Railstars striker laid the ball to Maphosa who squared to Nyoni whose shot beat Reyners for the second time in the afternoon.
In the 55th minute, Njabulo scored the third for Highlanders scoring from close range from a Bruce Kangwa cross.
Manhanga scored the second for Triangle in the 63rd minute beating Munyaradzi Diya on the near post.
Kangwa was named Man of the Match and walked away with $500 as he stood firm in defence and whenever Highlanders ventured upfront.