AS HIGHLANDERS players gathered on the pitch, forming a tight circle, their traditional way of motivating each other before a match, coach Bongani Mafu watched with interest.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
As the players dispersed, he called Knox Mutizwa and put his arm around his shoulders afterwards before kick-off of the match against Dynamos on Sunday at Rufaro which Bosso lost 3-2.
Never mind the chaos that assistant referee Bongani Gadzikwa authored in the 78th minute, this was a day for Mutizwa to make his mark.
Mafu had a few words with the 21-year-old striker who went on to dazzle his opponents Dynamos scoring a memorable brace — his first time to score against the Harare giants.
And at the final whistle, the Bosso forward shared his disappointment of his team’s failure to secure victory against their rivals having outclassed them in the second half in which they could have buried them under an avalanche of goals had they not wasted several chances which came their way.
“Before the match, the coach called me and told me that it was my time to shine. He then said ‘go and shine’. That gave me a great lift, there was a great weight off my shoulders.
“I did exactly what he told me. It’s my first time to score against Dynamos and am particularly happy that I scored a brace. But I am disappointed we failed to beat them after playing so well. We had the upper hand especially in the second half. We could have won this match,” said Mutizwa looking dejected and downcast as he spoke to NewsDay Sport.
Mutizwa had thrust Bosso ahead in the sixth minute, from the spot kick, sending goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva the wrong way after Augustine Mbara had illegally brought down Obadiah Tarumbwa in the box and referee Norman Matemera awarded a penalty.
But Dynamos star midfielder Ronald Chitiyo struck a first half brace to thrust his team into the lead. However, that setback appeared to give Bosso the much-needed steel, as they dominated in the second half in which they had some interludes of beautiful movements and passing.
They drew level, two minutes into the second half, with Mutizwa completing his brace with a superb header from a free kick by Edmore Muzanenhamo.
However, as the Bulawayo giants launched wave after wave of attack on their opponents’ goal, they succumbed to a 73rd header by Qadr Amini.
Still, Bosso playing with the spirit of an ant and the determination of a bee, could have rescued the match two minutes from full time but Muzanenhamo had what appeared a genuine goal disallowed for offside by Gadzikwa after Matemera had initially signalled for a goal.
But television replays suggest there was no offside.
It was a heartbreaking end to a match which the Bulawayo giants appeared on course to win for the first time since 2006. In the last two times that Bosso have come close to beating Dynamos, it was match officials that stole the stole the show.
Two seasons back, Matemera, added three more minutes to the added time allowing Dynamos to equalise right at the death.