BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS . . . . . . (1) 1
CHAPUNGU. . . . . . . . . . . . .0
PRINCE Dube continued with his rich scoring vein after he converted from the spot to give Highlanders a win against Chapungu at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
The striker, who netted a hat-trick in Zimbabwe’s 3-1 win over Mauritius at the weekend, took responsibility after troublesome Ray Lunga was brought down inside the penalty box on the half hour mark by defender Piniel Gumbo.
The decision to award the penalty by referee Hardley Ndazi did not go down well with the Chapungu players, who protested and refused it to be taken until their
coach Rodwell Dhlakama intervened.
Moenda Muchangami was cautioned in the melee and it took another five minutes before the penalty was dispatched, as Chapungu goalkeeper Talbert Shumba went
down and needed to be treated by the airmen’s medical team.
The win was Mandla Mpofu’s first victory since taking over from Madinda Ndlovu as Highlanders’ coach
It took them to position 11 on the log table with 20 points, and he will be hoping to continue on that positive trajectory when in-form Black Rhinos visit on
Mpofu said it was a hard-fought victory for them as the opposition improved its play, especially after the introduction of Ian Nyoni and Philip Marufu in the
“We played a team that played the long ball and we defended well, but we had some scary moments, especially in the second half, when our defenders made silly
mistakes. Not an exciting win. We played in phases. We did not flow as we usually do,” he said.
Chapungu had their chances which fell to Denver Mukamba and Patrick Khumbula, but goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda denied them.
Dhlakama said the penalty decision was controversial and it ultimately changed the complexion of the match.
“The turning point was that penalty. It was a soft call and changed the complexion of the game. Otherwise it was a good performance from my team, especially in
the second half. We had our chances, but failed to convert,” Dhlakama said.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, A Mbeba, M Ndlovu, T Ndlovu (C Siamalonga, 61’), P Muduhwa, N Masuku, R Lunga, B Banda (A Silla, 68’), P Dube, D Mhindirira, T Makanda
(D Khumalo, 76’)
Chapungu: T Shumba, P Gumbo, H Mugoniwa, B Mbavarira, M Muchangami, E Muzanenhamo, B Muzondiwa (P Marufu, 55’) G Muleya (B Chihowa, 75’), P Khumbula, D
Mukamba, N Hunga (I Nyoni ,59’)