FC PLATINUM . . . . . .0
HIGHLANDERS .. . . . (1)1
IT WAS supposed to be Norman Mapeza’s home coming Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match, but in the end it became one that Highlanders chose to spoil on a yet another good outing for Charles Sibanda at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
Having quit the Zvishavane side at the start of the season, Sibanda made his return to Mandava and took just 180 seconds to silence the crowd with a goal that was to hand Highlanders maximum points and take his goal tally to 12 this season and put him firmly ahead to win the Golden Boot award with just nine games of the season left to play.
Highlanders remained in second place with 38 points, one behind defending champions Dynamos who defeated Triangle 2-1 at Gibbo Stadium and one ahead of fourth placed Caps United who needed an own goal to beat Chapungu at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
The former Warriors coach, Mapeza was undefeated since assuming the reins at Pure Platinum Play having humbled both Bantu Rovers (home in the Chibuku Super Cup) and Black Rhinos (away) in his opening two examinations.
Bosso came into the match with an imperious record against their opponents having only lost once against them in the previous seven league matches they have met and having won their last three encounters.
After the match Mapeza conceded that such results are inevitable in football.
“It happens in football. I knew that we will lose one day. But I am very proud of my boys; they played well and we created a lot of chances, but we unfortunately failed to utilise them. They (Highlanders) came with a positive mentality and they were rewarded,” said Mapeza.
Kaindu commended his charges for a job well done.
“The team showed so much character especially in the second half where FC Platinum were playing well.
“The save by Ariel Sibanda late in the game was crucial and it is also the reason why we collected maximum points,” said Kaindu.
Sibanda opened the scoring in the third minute when he capitalised on some hesitant defending by captain Daniel Vheremu.
Four minutes later, lively Walter Musona’s corner was cleared off the line by man of the match Felix Chindungwe.
In the 24th minute Ashley Mukwena’s effort crashed against the woodwork.
Musona was again in the thick of things after half an hour of action when his header from a Mitchell Katsvairo cross was inches wide. After the breather Pure Platinum Play came with renewed vigour with Musona creating all sorts of problems for the visitors. Three minutes before full-time Musona knocked the ball down but his effort was again off target. Two minutes later, Sibanda in goal for Bosso, defied all odds when he superbly got to the end of a Musona cracker.