BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Brazil-born Highlanders coach Baltemar José de Oliveira Brito has showered praise on the quality of players in the local league after watching his side share the spoils with Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium on Sunday.
It was Brito’s second match in charge of the Bulawayo giants, which also extended Bosso’s winless streak away from home to 15 matches since beating Bulawayo Chiefs at Barbourfields in September 2019. Godfrey Makaruse earned the visitors a point with an equaliser towards the end of the first-half after Leslie Kashitigu had given Ngezi the lead.
The draw saw Highlanders extend their unbeaten run to seven matches, while they remain in search of a first league win outside Bulawayo since they beat Triangle 1–0 in July 2018.
However, Brito has breathed some fresh air into the Bosso camp, with the team playing with more confidence.
While he bemoaned the wet and slippery pitch at Baobab, Brito praised the quality of players in Zimbabwe football
“We have good feedback of Zimbabwe football because the players are good technically. They also play with intensity and are physically good,” said the 70-year-old former assistant to renowned coach Jose Mourinho.
“And it’s this kind of detail (playing in good pitches) that will make Zimbabwe football better and everyone should think about that and even the federation should look into this because if the field
makes it impossible to practise they should rethink about that.
“Even for the supporters who pay for tickets to watch these games it is better if they watch a beautiful game. This kind of field does not promote Zimbabwe football and everyone should think about that because this is not good even for us, even for them because if you want to improve the players, you want to make good football we should have good conditions.”
Brito is an experienced coached who has been managing since 1988. He won the EUFA Champions League as Mourinho’s assistant at FC Porto in 2004, while he was also the Special One’s understudy at Chelsea.
Ngezi and Bosso struggled with rhythm in the match on Sunday because of the poor pitch, but Highlanders created enough chances to win the game if they been more clinical in front of goal.
They also dominated possession while they had a few key decisions go against them.
Highlanders are currently in eighth place on the log standings, 13 points behind leaders FC Platinum after 19 rounds of matches and still entertain an outside chance of winning the title.
Brito’s charges next entertain Mutare side Manica Diamonds, who sit fourth in the league in a potentially encounter at Barbourfields this afternoon.
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