Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
Highlanders 2 – 0 ZPC Kariba
HIGHLANDERS switched off ZPC Kariba power generators in an exciting Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Despite a 10-minute scare in the second half, especially after the introduction of former Bosso midfielder Nigel Makumbe, Highlanders kept their shape and managed to kill off the game five minutes before the end through a goal of individual brilliance by second half substitute Tinashe Makanda.
Bosso had gone to the breather leading 1-0 through a 21st minute penalty by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda after ZPC Kariba defender Bornface Zuberi had handled in the box in an attempt to clear a goal bound shot by man of the moment Ray Lunga.
Coincidentally Zuberi was sporting jersey number 21 and it took him 21 minutes to handle the ball that resulted in the spot kick.
“We never came to the party today; we were not ourselves and gave too much room to our opponents,” said ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi, who had boasted in the run-up to the game that his side had taken off while Bosso were still on the runway.
The claim prompted Highlanders’ coach Madinda Ndlovu to respond sarcastically that the power men would have a rough landing at Barbourfields Stadium.
An elated Ndlovu said his boys were slowly coming to the party.
“When we got that win last week, some never believed in us, while some did. We did say that when these boys get to the pick of their fitness, they will show what they are made of,” said Ndlovu.
Bosso’s chief striker Prince Dube is yet to open his mark at Barbourfields this season despite being a handful to visiting teams’ defenders through his superb positioning.
He was, however, unlucky in the 37th minute when he left his marker for dead before letting loose a left-footed screamer that grazed the cross bar. It was to be the last real goalmouth action in the first half and in the same half coach Tamirepi was shown a yellow card by referee Thabani Bamala.
Tamirepi became the first coach to be punished under the amended football laws that came into force on Saturday.
When the second half resumed, it was clear that the visitors were the hungrier of the two sides, as they piled on the pressure looking to get an early second half equaliser, and they thought they had done that when Tawanda Nyamandwe scrambled the ball into the nets following a spill by Sibanda, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Nyamandwe, who was offside when the shot came, reacted faster to a spill by Sibanda.
Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Brian Banda (Adria Silla 63rd min), Cleopad Kapupurika (Russell Chifura 86th min), Ray Lunga (Tinashe Makanda 78th min), Andrew Mbeba, Nqobizitha Masuku, Tendai Ndlovu, Peter Muduhwa, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Prince Dube, Devine Mindirira
Unused Subs: Mbekezeli Sibanda, Bukhosi Sibanda, Charlton Siamalonga, Wellington Muuya,
ZPC Kariba: Takabva Mawaya, Sylvester Appiah, James Marufu, Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe, Ian Nekati, Tawanda Munyanduri (Simba Gorogodyo 66th min), Bornface Zuberi, Colleen Muleya (Nigel Makumbe 38th min) David Temwanjira, Tawanda Nyamandwi, Talent Chamboko (Tino Chiunye 63rd min)
Unused Subs: Future Chamboko, Tsepo Ranthokoane, Samuel Makawa, Jimu Gwara