TWO second half goals from unlikely sources ensured Highlanders recovered from their midweek defeat by Caps United, to dispatch a determined Black Rhinos in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Highlanders . . . . . . (0) 2
Black Rhinos . . . . . . . . 0
Bosso central defender Peter Muduhwa gave his side an opener with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box to hit the roof of the nets past goalkeeper Stephen Chimusoro after the shot-stopper had fumbled a corner-kick five minutes after the break.
King Nadolo got the second with a header past Chimusoro five minutes before the final whistle, with his first touch of the ball after coming on.
Another substitute Ray Lunga provided the assist when his fancy footwork helped him to get past James Mukombwe and Donald Mudadi on the left, before sending in a cross that found Nadolo unmarked to nod home.
While they got the needed goals, but it was an unconvincing performance by the home side especially in the first half where the visitors were clearly the better side with Wilson Chakanyuka, Mudadi, Milton Kureva and Lot Chiwunga outstanding, but just failing to get the goals.
But Bosso wouldn’t care less, as this was a sweet revenge on the side who drubbed them 3-0 in the reverse fixture.
Despite the win, Highlanders made no significant movement on the log-table sitting and remained on position seven with 43 points, three behind city rivals How Mine.
Coach Erol Akbay was disappointed with the first half performance by his boys.
“It was difficult in the first half. These guys (Black Rhinos) were piling pressure on us. We waited for the right moment in the second half and we scored but I was not so happy with the first half,” Akbay said.
The defeat was the army side’s fourth match without a win and they continue to be slowly sucked into the relegation fight. They have 38 points, six above the team that is occupying the relegation cut-off point with four matches remaining on the season.
Rhinos coach Stanford Mutizwa blamed his defence for the defeat.
“Without taking much from Highlanders; they came back changed in the second half. My defence failed to pick up their men hence Highlanders scored those two goals. We missed two clear chances, one in the first half and another in the second. If you miss chances you are bound to be punished. But as I have always said we want to remain in the league and we are working on that,”
Subsitiute Roy Mwenga came face-to-face with Highlanders goalkeeper Nedrick Madeya in the 82nd minute after he was sent through by Yamikani Salima for a chance to equalise but he miscued his shot.
Moments later, he and his team were punished for the glaring miss when Nadolo killed off the contest.
Highlanders: N Madeya, B Ncube, C Siamalonga, B Phiri, P Muduhwa, T Ngulube, G Makaruse (R Lunga 46′), S Munawa (K Nadolo 84’), T Kalunga, R Kutsanzira, G Nyoni (A Gahadzikwa 86’)
Black Rhinos: S Chimusoro, J Mukombwe, W Chakanyuka, S Jimu, S Linyama, D Mudadi, T Chigudu, M Mine (C Chitsamba 70’), M Kureva (R Mwenga 60′), B Marere (Y Salima 80’), L Chiwunga