IN an apparent show of remorse, Highlanders’ goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda approached the club’s fans at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday waving in an apologetic gesture after committing two blunders that cost his side three valuable points.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS . . . . . . . (1) 1
ZPC KARIBA . . . . . . . . . (0) 2
The Bulawayo giants lost their second game of the season, their first in front of their home crowd handing visiting ZPC Kariba their first victory of the season.
With Ozias Zibande having put Highlanders ahead three minutes before the break, goalkeeper Sibanda spilled a sizzling Samuel Makava grounder on the hour mark before an alert Moses Demera pounced on to restore parity.
Then Highlanders raided ZPC Kariba in full force, with Sibanda leaving his goal area, as the whole team pressed the visitors in their own half in search of the elusive goal.
ZPC Kariba emerged on a counter attack two minutes into optional time and with Sibanda back-pedalling substitute Tawanda Nyamandwe on a solo run made no mistake with a neat chip over the goalkeeper for the power-utility side to get the three points.
In their first defeat to Ngezi Platinum Stars last weekend, coach Madinda Ndlovu blamed Sibanda for the solitary goal that saw them go down and yesterday he did not hesitate to censure his goal-minder for the howlers.
“I would term it a very bitter defeat looking at how we have just thrown away the game. The turning point was the first mistake by the goalkeeper. We last saw those kinds of mistakes from him in the first two games of the season. But such is the game. We could have got the second goal but hit the woodwork and my boys were overzealous to try and get that winner and were in a hurry and came another mistake that the goalkeeper did,” Ndlovu said.
Ndlovu’s opposite Godfrey Tamirepi said they have been playing well of late but victory was elusive. ZPC Kariba leapt two rungs up the ladder above Bulawayo City and Mutare City with eight points.
“It’s our first win I would say. We were on the back-foot in the first half and allowed Highlanders to be in control and they scored a good goal. We came into the second half much better although we could not match them. We made sporadic attacks and we got a goal, a gift goal I would say. They were desperate for a winner and we caught them on the counter and we got the winner but it was a well-contested game,” Tamirepi said.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, M Phiri, H Moyo, C Siamalonga, P Muduhwa, B Musaka, O Zibande (B Jaravaza 80′) A Silla (M Chitambwe 52′), N Sianchali, B Banda, R Lunga (T Lunga 66′)
ZPC Kariba: T Mawaya, B Zuberi, M Kunyarimwe, S Appiah, I Nekati, T Munyanduri, T Ranthokoane (T Nyamandwe 46′), C Muleya, S Makawa (S Gorogodyo 70′), M Demera,