ADRIAN Silla struck three minutes into the second half for Highlanders to claim victory over visiting Herentals in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Highlanders . . . (0) 1
Herentals . . . . . . . . . 0
Silla packed a shot from long range just after the centre-line to beat goalkeeper Frank Kuchineyi who appeared not to be expecting that ball.
That gave the Bulawayo giants victory after having suffered three successive defeats, against Bulawayo Chiefs, FC Platinum and Black Rhinos dropping to position seven on the log table.
The first half was short of incidents with both teams failing to create any meaningful attacks at each other.
The visitors could have grabbed a goal in the 27th minute though but Gibson Chinobva’s speculative effort from a distance was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.
Silla could have made it two in the 59th minute but his free-kick from the edge of the box hit the cross-bar with Kuchineyi a beaten man.
Then it was Herentals who piled on pressure on Highlanders in the dying minutes of the game keeping the hosts in their own half, but they could not get the equaliser.
Sibanda made a brilliant save from a Richard Hachiro effort a minute before the final whistle.
The Highlanders win took them two steps up the ladder to position five with 32 points. Coach Madinda Ndlovu was not impressed by the team’s performance, describing the win as lucky.
“We were very lucky to get the three points. We have been winning our games by just a goal and it’s bit worrying,” Ndlovu said.
His opposite Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva said it was a good display from his boys.
“Football is not fair at times; looking at the performance we had today, we were the better team. My boys put up a good fight. It’s unfortunate we lost,” Mutiwekuziva said.
Herentals remain on 22 points after the double defeat to Highlanders.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, M Phiri, C Siamalonga, T Ndlovu, P Muduhwa, A Silla, B Musaka, N Makumbe (R Lunga, 54′), G Nyoni, B Banda, G Makaruse (O Zibande, 54′)
Herentals: F Kuchineyi, B Maunganidze, C Mavhurume (R Chishaya, 90+1′), B Majarira, W Chimbetu, G Chinobva, T Benza (H Chikosa, 87′), A Majarira, B Majarira (T Mazhindu, 70′), R Hachiro, P Chota