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Referee steals show as Bosso, Manica share spoils


Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1)1

Manica DIAMONDS . . . . . . . . . . .(1)1

Referee Lawrence Zimondi hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons, spoiling an otherwise entertaining Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between Highlanders and log leaders Manica Diamonds at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

Zimondi made a number of questionable decisions which incensed the two technical teams and supporters.

Highlanders were quick off the blocks and they won a corner kick after two minutes of action. Dead ball specialist Andrew Mbeba swung in a dangerous cross which deceived the goalkeeper Geoffrey Chitsumba and Brighton Ncube lurking on the blindside had the easiest of tasks to tap it home.

Faced with an opportunity to double Bosso’s lead in the seventh minute after the Manica defence slept on duty, Ncube stole the ball, but Chitsumba was quick to narrow the angle and block the effort.

The Gem Boys then gained dominance and a goal always loomed. Thubelihle Jubane did well on the right, squared the ball for Tawanda Macheka who poked the ball between the legs of the goalkeeper.

In the 46th minute, Donald Teguru beat Gillian Nyathi for pace and found substitute Michael Tapera in space, but his first time shot narrowly missed the target for the visitors.

In the 60th minute, Lynoth Chikuhwa for Highlanders attempted a long-range shot, but it went wide.

The post match comments confirmed that both teams were satisfied with the result.

Bosso mentor Kelvin Kaindu was happy that his charges managed to get a point against a team that had won eight consecutive matches.

“It was never going to be easy to play a team that has picked up form. They have been consistent in picking up points. I think getting a point in this game [was important]. This is a game we dominated,” he said.

“In the second half, we played most of the game in their half. We had a number of chances in the first half which we could not convert. I like the attitude and response from our players especially how Peter [Muduhwa] and Tower [Andrew] behaved despite what was going on in the field.”

Manica Diamonds coach Jairos Tapera bemoaned the goal that they conceded, but felt a point against Bosso was crucial.

“It’s one very important for us, noting how Highlanders play at BF with the twelfth man. They always play their A game. We knew very well they were going to come at us in the first minutes and they scored,” the Gem Boys gaffer said.

“It was an embarrassment for us defensively because we had already spoken about it. We take that as a lesson going forward. We sit down and talk with these boys that you sleep a minute, you lose a game. But defensively we were so organised.”

Despite the referee’s struggles, the two coaches avoided commenting on his performance despite their complaints during the match.

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