Highlanders …………(0) 3
ZPC Kariba………………(1) 2
HIGHLANDERS striker, Godfrey Makaruse made a triumphant return to action after grabbing the winner for his side in a thrilling Castle Premiership encounter against visiting ZPC Kariba at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
BY SAKHELENI NXUMALO
Prior to yesterday’s match, the 20-year-old striker had not featured for Highlanders this season due to a knee injury.
Makaruse scored the winner with eight minutes left on the clock, after coming on for Rodreck Mutuma.
Allan Gahadzikwa and Prince Dube got the other two goals for Bosso, while Talent Chamboko and Tawanda Nyamandwe were on target for the visitors.
“It feels so good to have scored on my return and I am very happy to be back in action after a long layoff,” Makaruse said in a post-match interview.
His coach, Erol Akbay expressed satisfaction at his team’s overall performance despite having had to come from a goal down to earn victory.
Chamboko put the visitors ahead with a gem of a goal after 17 minutes, volleying home from about 25 metres out. The left-footed midfielder latched on to a headed clearance by Highlanders defender, Tendai Ndlovu and superbly hit the target.
After squandering some good chances, Highlanders finally found the equaliser three minutes after the restart when Gahadzikwa’s flashing header beat Kariba goalkeeper, Tendai Hove, off a Prince Dube cross.
Dube gave Highlanders the lead barely a minute later after he was sent through by a Mutuma flick on and outpaced ZPC Kariba defender Stephen Appiah before rounding the keeper to drill the ball into an empty net.
The introduction of Nyamandwe on 68 minutes turned out to be a masterstroke by the ZPC Kariba technical team, as the former Dynamos striker’s first contribution to the game was to level matters on 70 minutes after exchanging passes with Chamboko.
Highlanders juniors product Makaruse, who turns 21 years in September, would have the final say on the outcome of the match though, when he turned and slotted the ball past Hove.
ZPC Kariba coach, Sunday Chidzambwa blamed lax marking for his side’s defeat. “My view is that we gave away the game, as we conceded easy goals. We lost it in the heart of our defence, as we didn’t pick up strikers from crosses and were caught ball watching,” he said.
A Sibanda, B Phiri, H Moyo, T Ndlovu, P Muduhwa, T Ngulube, A Gahadzikwa, S Munawa (K Nadolo 79 min), R Kutsanzira (B Banda 88 min), P Dube, R Mutuma (G Makaruse 63 min).
T Hove, B Zuberi (B Mutukure 85 min), M Kunyarimwe, A Chivheya, S Appiah, T Munyanduri, D Chakupe (T Nyamandwe 68 min), N Tigere, T Chamboko, R Manuvire, F Zekumbawire (P Wadyayena 90 min).