How Mine . . . . . . (0) 1
Highlanders . . . . . . . 0
IT was all doom and gloom for Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday as How Mine completed a double over the Bulawayo giants in a Castle Lager Premiership match.
In the first half of the season, How Mine, then under Philani Mabhena stunned Bosso 2-1 at the same venue.
A second half goal by Bosso reject Warren Dube five minutes after the break was all that How Mine needed for coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube to claim his first victory against Bosso since he came into the Premiership in 2008.
The defeat has put Bosso in a tight corner in the race for the elusive Premiership title as log leaders Dynamos turned up the heat on Caps United with a 1-0 win at Rufaro to stretch the lead to 41 points.
Bosso remains on 37 points, two points behind second-placed Harare City (39 points) who were held to a 2-2 draw by Triangle at Gibbo.
Highlanders lost it tactically to How Mine and an elated Beefy was over the moon after his side completed a double over Highlanders.
“There is always a first time, I have said. We were better on strategy although I would say Highlanders were on top tactically. Our strategy was to catch them on the break and we did just that. What we just need to do now is to continue with our consistency. Beating Highlanders was a bonus for me,” Beefy said.
Bosso dominated the game from the outset, but lacked precision and purpose for the entire first half with the midfield suspect and the main culprit being Mthulisi Maphosa as almost all his passes went wild.
Against the run of play in the 50th minute, Simbarashe Sithole broke loose on the left and sent in a cross which found an unmarked Dube in the penalty box who controlled the ball and struck past Bosso goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya with ease, silencing the multitude of Highlanders supporters.
After that goal Bosso played a disjointed game while Beefy’s side parked the bus, content with that goal.
Highlanders’ substitutions were even poor and the game fizzled into a drab affair in the second half.
Coach Kelvin Kaindu admitted that his replacements in the second half were not up to scratch.
“It is unfortunate that we have given away three points and the race is slipping away from us. The introduction of the substitutes did not change the complexion of the game, but if we had scored earlier maybe it would have been good for us,” a visibly disappointed Kaindu said.
Kaindu brought in Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube for Maphosa in the 58th minute, Heritein Masuku in the 63rd minute for Bhekimpilo Ncube while Master Masitara came in for Masimba Mambare in the 75th minute, but the game just remained flat for Highlanders with How Mine parking the bus and depending on counter-raids.
Bosso could have scored first as early as the second minute but Gabriel Nyoni missed a sitter with only goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura to beat from a Bruce Kangwa cross.
Bhekimpilo wasted another chance with only Mazarura to beat in the 58th minute when he skied his effort with the former Warriors goalkeeper shining for How Mine with a save in the 67th minute from a Lawson Nkomo dead ball situation.
How Mine: E Mazarura, B Dube, K Banda, H Dick (N Mukumbi 76th minute), G Banda, X Moyo (Q Sibanda 53rd minute), M Mupera, W Dube, S Sithole, E Nkulungo (T Masuku 27th minute), T January
Highlanders: M Diya, L Nkomo, B Kangwa, D Ndlovu, I Mapuranga, S Munawa, M Maphosa (N Ncube 58th minute), P Moyo, M Mambare (M Masitara 75th minute), B Ncube (H Masuku 63rd minute), G Nyoni