HomeSportSoccerBuffaloes hold Highlanders

Buffaloes hold Highlanders

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HIGHLANDERS . . . . . 0
BUFFALOES . . . . . . . .0

FORTUNE MBELE

WASTEFUL Highlanders had to settle for a point as they played a goalless draw against determined Buffaloes in an exciting Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Hartsfield Stadium yesterday.

It was a good start for coach Moses Chunga in his first assignment with Buffaloes to get a point away from home as his counterpart Kelvin Kaindu watched log leaders Dynamos open a three-point lead after dismissing visiting Chiredzi 2-0 at Rufaro Stadium.

Highlanders are now on 39 points, but Kaindu said Bosso were still in the running for the championship despite the setback.

Caps United, with 37 points, are away to struggling Bantu Rovers today while ZPC Kariba, with 38 points, are also in Bulawayo tomorrow for How Mine.

Both matches will be played at Hartsfield.

“It is unfortunate that we did not score today [yesterday] despite the numerous chances that we had,” Kaindu said.

“Some of our players did not play today because of injuries and suspensions. There are still some games to go, but if we had won this one, it would have put us in a better position. We lacked aggression, but I think we are still in shape for the title.”

Leading scorer Charles Sibanda and Pasca Manhanga were out due to suspension and yesterday saw the return of striker Gabriel Nyoni, who had a good game, but missed a number of chances.

Chunga was happy with the point despite Buffaloes remaining on position eight with 30 points and not safe from relegation with eight matches to go to the end of the season.

“The boys did well. They came from a win, but we will take the draw. Credit goes to the boys. After one week with them and such a performance against invincible Highlanders, signs are that we will do better. We just have to work on our finishing,” an elated Chunga said.

Even the antics of a Bosso fan, who sprinted onto the pitch from the AmaZulu Stadium end to grab Buffaloes’ keeper Itayi Chiwara’s towel apparently under the belief that the Buffaloes goal area had been “locked”, could not help Highlanders.

The unruly Bosso fan jumped the perimeter fence and ran off with the towel two minutes before full time as Highlanders continued to bombard Buffaloes, but failed to get the much sought after goal.

Earlier, the first chance on goal fell to Buffaloes in the sixth minute when Kastigu Juwakinyu broke an offside trap and beat goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, but his effort was cleared off the goal line by a recovering Dumisani Ndlovu.

Five minutes later, Joel Ngodzo’s cross from a dead ball situation was skied by Hillary Madzivanyika after a Felix Chindungwe goal-bound header.

Nyoni beat defender Marshal Machazane on the left in the 17th minute and came face-to-face with Chiwara, but he miscued his effort and the goalkeeper made a save.

Nyoni was at it again in the 31st minute, roasting defender Liberty Chakoroma on the right before he was hacked down just outside the penalty box, but Bruce Kangwa wasted the free-kick.

Chiwara came to Buffaloes’ rescue in the 56th minute from a Rahman Kutsanzira thunderbolt while Nyoni had his header in added time hit the cross bar with the goalkeeper beaten from a Kangwa cross.

Buffaloes substitute Philip Thembani also had his effort cleared off the line by Erick Mudzingwa in the 75th minute.

Highlanders were the better side, knocking the ball around and building up from defence neatly while Buffaloes depended on pumping the ball forward in search of Juwakinyu and Jacob Muzokomba.

Teams
Highlanders: A Sibanda, E Mudzingwa, B Kangwa, D Ndlovu (W Chingodza 66th minute), I Mapuranga, F Chindungwe, R Kutsanzira, H Madzivanyika (S Munawa 57th minute), N Ncube (K Machazane 55th minute), J Ngodzo, G Nyoni
Buffaloes: I Chiwara, K Mwaramba, K Thembani, L Chakoroma, P Chandisaita, T Mombeshora, M Nyamukasa (A Dzumbunu 71st minute), L Katongomara, K Juwakinyu, J Muzokomba, M Machazane (P Thembani 71st minute)

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