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Highlanders in important win

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HIGHLANDERS . . . . . . . (2) 2
DONGO SAWMILL . . . . . . . 0

Ten men Highlanders picked up maximum points when they edged strugglers Dongo Sawmill in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

BY FORTUNE MBELE

Bosso anchorman, Douglas Sibanda, who retaliated after he was fouled by Dereck Chidzanzara in the 32nd minute, was cautioned by referee Philani Ncube before getting his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the 45th minute for a foul on Kudzai Chideu.

Veteran striker Obediah Tarumbwa had done well to put Bosso ahead in the 25th minute from inside the penalty box after a good build-up that involved Erick Mudzingwa, Rahman Kutsanzira and Ralph Matema.

Tarumbwa’s cross in the 44th minute landed on Kutsanzira feet, who then beat Forward Pfumojena in goals for the visitors to put Highlanders two up.

That was before Sibanda was sent off and coming into the second half, Bosso had to sacrifice Matema, who seemed to combine well with Knox Mutizwa and Tarumbwa upfront, stifling Highlanders’ attack.

Matema was pulled out in the 50th minute for Nqobizitha Masuku.

The league’s top goalscorer, Mutizwa, was hacked down by Martin Tapatatapa inside the box in the 36th minute, but he failed to convert spot-kick.

Highlanders returned to 10th position on the log with 31 points after yesterday’s win, having dislodged by ZPC Kariba, who beat Caps United 2-1 on Saturday at Nyamhunga Stadium in Kariba.

Highlanders technical manager Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu was happy with the three points, but was disappointed by Sibanda’s behaviour.

“This is a good result, there are no small teams; we are playing in the same league. Our mandate is to keep the team afloat in the league. It is an important win, we collected three points. We could have scored more goals were it not for that red card because we had to change our tactical approach. The fans must expect more wins going forward. We have just got to grind results and make sure the team does not go down,” Zulu said.

It is still a grim picture for Dongo, who are wallowing at the bottom of the log-standings with 18 points, and yesterday they only created one chance throughout the match, which Evans Chikwaikwai skied with only goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda to beat.

Coach Dananai Chinowawa is, however, still hopeful.

“The game was good. Their [Highlanders] first goal was offside and it demoralised our boys. Even that penalty that Knox [Mutizwa] missed was not a penalty. If we manage to get 12 points in the remaining games we might be able to survive,” Chinowawa said.

Teams

Highlanders: A Sibanda, E Mudzingwa, H Moyo, T Hadebe, F Chindungwe, D Sibanda (red card 45’), R Kutsanzira (S Munwa 64’), R Matema (N Masuku 50’), K Mutizwa, O Tarumbwa, B Kangwa

Dongo Sawmill: F Pfumojena, K Katandika, C Duwa, M Tapatapa, K Mangongo, D Chidzanzara, N Tigere (S Elias 80’), K Chideu (L Jesi 53’), E Chikwakwai, E Mungiri, P Madhazi (L Masibera 88’)

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