HomeSportSoccerHighlanders reach Chibuku semis

Highlanders reach Chibuku semis

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HIGHLANDERS . . . . . .(1) 3
HOW MINE . . . . . . . . . (0) 1

FORTUNE MBELE

THEY just had to do it to restore their pride and coach Kelvin Kaindu walked out of Hartsfield a relieved man after Highlanders crushed How Mine to atone for last week’s loss in Harare, and advanced to the semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup yesterday.

Evergreen Felix Chindungwe was on target in the 28th minute with a beautiful header to open the floodgates. Defender Dumisani Ndlovu scored his first goal for Highlanders when he got the second with another header in the 55th minute from a Charles Sibanda corner kick before the latter converted from the spot in the 67th minute to make it three.

It was a relief for under-pressure Highlanders mentor Kelvin Kaindu, who together with his lieutenants Mark Mathe and goalkeepers’ coach Peter Nkomo were last week told to up their game after the heavy defeat to DeMbare.

“I think this is good for us after being humiliated last week. Football is always a pressure game but reaching the semi-final is a step forward for us. It is a step forward that we have advanced to the semi-final,” Kaindu said.

Bosso had been thumped 4-1 by Dynamos in the final of the TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup-a result that saw the suspension of Njabulo Ncube, Innocent Mapuranga being stripped of the captaincy while Sibanda and Joel Ngodzo received warnings for indiscipline.

Mapuranga sat out yesterday’s match while Tapiwa Dephistara made his debut for Bosso in the second half. Webster Chingodza, formerly of Tripple B started at the right wing back while new vice captain Erick Mudzingwa was in central defence.

How Mine gave a debut to Mandlaenkosi Sibanda, who was signed from Ecco City Greens in the Botswana beMobile, but he could not inspire a late second half comeback.

How Mine got their consolation through Kudakwashe Musharu in the 69th minute with yet another header, flicking the ball over Bosso new captain goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda from a Menard Mupera cross.
Coach Luke Masomere, who watched his team parcel out of the One Wallet Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 defeat to Dynamos on his first assignment with the gold miners, blamed lapses in his defence for the loss to Highlanders.

“It was a good game, but unfortunately we conceded very soft goals. We have to work on our mistakes. There is a serious problem in our defence which we have to work on. We just have to concentrate on the league now,” Masomere said.

How Mine could have scored first as early as the 16th minute, but Sibanda made a brilliant save punching a Caleb Masocha thunderbolt back into play.

As Bosso mounted attack on the gold miners, defender James Chitereki handled outside the box and Midlands referee Thomas Masaa awarded Highlanders a free-kick.

Ngodzo’s cross was met with a beautiful header from Chindungwe which beat goalkeeper Notice Dube in the 28th minute.

A few chances were created by both teams in the first half but Highlanders had the better start in the second half when Ndlovu’s blistering grounder was punched away for a corner by Dube in the 54th minute.

From the resultant corner-kick, Ndlovu rose above the How Mine defence to give Bosso the second goal.

Then Sibanda was hacked down inside the penalty box by defender Nelson Tachi as he charged towards goal and Masaa pointed to the spot for attacking midfielder to convert in the 67th minute.

Two minutes later, Emmanuel Mandiranga flicked a Mernard Mupera free kick over Arial and Musharu was left with a easy chance to head home unmarked. Four minutes of added time gave little to How mine’s efforts to force a draw and penalty shoot-out.

But the Bosso goalkeeper was forced to make an excellent save towards the end of the match punching away, substitute Thembani Masuku’s left footer swerving screamer.

Teams
Highlanders: A Sibanda, W Chingodza, B Kangwa, D Ndlovu, E Mudzingwa, F Chindungwe, R Kutsanzira (W Ndiweni 80th min), J Ngodzo (T Dephistara 72nd min), G Nyoni, S Munawa (P Manhanga 56th min) C Sibanda
How Mine: N Dube, M Kadzola, J Chitereki, N Tachi, G Banda, M Mupera, W Sithole (T Masuku 63rd min), G Nguwodzawo (M Sibanda 54th min), E Muzanenhamo (E Mandiranga 77th min), K Musharu, C Masocha

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