HIGHLANDERS assumed leadership of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League yesterday with a clinical dismantling of third-placed Buffaloes at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Report by Sukoluhle Mthethwa
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 3 Buffaloes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .0
Highlanders have 19 points from eight matches and have scored 16 goals, the same as FC Platinum, who have conceded eight while the Bulawayo giants have let in six.
HIGHLANDERS assumed leadership of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League yesterday with a clinical dismantling of third-placed Buffaloes at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday. Highlanders have 19 points from eight matches and have scored 16 goals, the same as FC Platinum, who have conceded eight while the Bulawayo giants have let in six.
The two teams will battle for the top spot at Mandava Stadium in their next fixture.
Substitute Milton Ncube’s spectacular 80th minute goal underlined Highlanders’ superiority against a Buffaloes side that had demolished fellow army side Black Rhinos 4-1 in a mid-week fixture at Sakubva.
Highlanders scored through an own goal by Buffaloes captain Prosper Matizanadzo in the 39th minute with the other goal coming from Mthulisi Maphosa in the 53rd minute. Highlanders assistant coach Bekithemba Ndlovu praised his side for playing well.
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“We played well today (yesterday) and played good football. In the second half Buffaloes were nowhere to be found. I had said earlier that the best team of the day will win. The Buffaloes coach talked too much. We do the talking on the field and after the match. Now they respect us. We have been creating and scoring,” he said.
Buffaloes coach Saul Chaminuka was not happy with the result and the match officiating.
“We lost a game of football. The first half was good, but we were unlucky that we put the first goal away ourselves. But it happens in football. We did not like the match officiating. We feel that the referee ignored some fouls,” he said.
Nkosana Nduna handled the match.
Matizanadzo would be kicking himself in the shin after scoring against his own team in an effort to clear a Masimba Mambare cross in the 39th minute.
Buffaloes had in the 12th minute missed a glorious opportunity to go one step up when Steven Sibanda’s shot was pushed out for a corner by Simon Munawa after making light work of Highlanders captain Innocent Mapuranga and his goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya. Maphosa then calmed the Highlanders nerves in the 53rd minute when he released a scorcher just outside the arc which eluded Buffaloes goalkeeper Tandadzai Chengetai. Ncube, a 68th minute introduction replacing Njabulo Ncube, then put the icing on the cake 10 minutes from time.
Highlanders won a free kick way off the target and with his strikers and defenders expecting a cross, Milton curled the ball into the top right corner.
Highlanders could have scored more than three goals in the second half with Maphosa missing out on a brace after his 30 metre drive hit the crossbar with no takers for the rebound. Buffaloes’ Never Musvipa had in the 28th minute brought down Mambare just outside the box, but nothing came off from the move.
Highlanders M Diya, I Mapuranga, D Ndlovu, S Munawa, M Maphosa (H Masuku 76th minute), H Madzivanyika, B Kangwa, M Mambare, B Chikaka, N Ncube (M Ncube 68th minute), C Dube (P Moyo 62nd minute)
Buffaloes T Chengetai, S Nkata, F Banda, N Musvipa, P Chandisaita, P Matizanadzo, T Mareya (R Mwenga 59th minute),A Dzumbunu, W Sithole ( M Mageja 46th minute), J Muzokomba, S Sibanda (D Zimbango 59th minute).