Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
Highlanders 0 – 0 Hwange
HIGHLANDERS’ players did everything possible and not even a morale boosting 35th minute penalty save by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda could help them end a winless start to the 2019 Castle Lager Premiership campaign.
Yesterday’s goalless draw at Barbourfields Stadium marked six games without a win for Bosso much to the chagrin of thousands of their faithful that started trooping out of the venue with more than five minutes still to be played.
Highlanders have been rocked by ugly administrative problems that saw two executive committee members being suspended during the week and the team adopted a business like approach from the first whistle right up to the end, attacking the visiting coalminers, but they just could not find the back of the net.
With a solid defence, mobile midfield and a probing strike force, Bosso still left Barbourfields winless for the third time this season following a goalless draw against Caps United and a 0-1defeat by Triangle United.
“There are things that cannot be explained. I really don’t know how I can explain this result where you create so many scoring chances, but still fail to bury them. I feel pity for my boys, but we know that scoring is an individual skill, you can’t train it,” said Highlanders’ head coach Madinda Ndlovu after the match.
The first of the many chances for the home side came in the 10th minute when Prince Dube’s volley on the run from a Bukhosi Sibanda pass following from counter attack went over the bar. Dube returned to haunt the visitors in the 27th minute, but his glancing header from McClive Phiri’s in-swinger flew over the bar.
Chipangano, who despite being attacked from every angle still kept their shape, were given a rare opportunity to surge ahead when young defender Andrew Mbeba hacked down Dingani Maphosa inside the box and referee Ruzive Ruzive pointed to the spot.
Veteran Gilbert Zulu could not believe his eyes when goalkeeper Sibanda dived to his right to save the effort before Adrian Silla scooped the ball to safety.
That proved to be the only real chance that Nation Dube’s charges had.
“It was an entertaining game; we kept to our game plan where we were also hoping to catch them on counter attacks, but we failed. However, a point on the road is good for us, we can’t complain,” said Dube.
Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, McClive Phiri, Adrian Silla, 14.Peter Nyirenda Devine Mindirira 76th mins), Andrew Mbeba, Peter Muduhwa, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Tinashe Makanda, Mbekezeli Sibanda (Ray Lunga 76th min) Prince Dube, Bukhosi Sibanda (Cleopas Kapupurika 86th min)
Unused subs: Brian Banda, Nqobizitha Masuku, Tendai Ndlovu
Hwange: Taimon Mvula; Kupakwashe Matake, Nomore Chinyerere, Felex Chindungwe, Gerald Ndlovu, Andrew Tshuma, Admire Banda, Arlton Ndlovu (Ted Ncube 55th min) Ernest Gwitima (Gerald Ngulube 86th min), Dingani Maphosa, Gilbert Zulu (Tafara Chese 55th min)
Unused subs: Morestuf Ncube, Collen Phiri, Gift Mulenga, Lucas Sibanda