Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

High­landers 1-2 Mutare City Rovers REL­E­GA­TION threat­ened Mutare City Rovers put on a dis­ci­plined per­for­mance to up­set High­landers in a Cas­tle Lager Pre­mier Soc­cer League match at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

The Premier­ship new boys scored two sec­ond half goals through Ku­dak­washe Gu­rure and Caleb Masocha to reg­is­ter a dream re­sult in their de­but sea­son.

High­landers’ play­ers and sup­port­ers wore gloomy faces leav­ing Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium, as they had an­tic­i­pated a stroll against the Mutare side.

Rovers gave High­landers a taste of their own medicine by em­ploy­ing a tac­tic Bosso has been us­ing since the be­gin­ning of the sea­son. Rovers sat back, forced the fad­ing Bu­l­awayo giants to come at them, soaked the pres­sure and hit them on the counter.

High­landers en­joyed lots of pos­ses­sion, but it was Rovers, who looked threat­en­ing ev­ery time they broke free.

Gu­rure put the vis­i­tors ahead fol­low­ing a quick break in the 51st minute, flick­ing a Won­der Sit­hole cross from the left over a drawn-out High­landers goal­keeper Ariel Sibanda.

The goal un­set­tled High­landers, who went into panic mode in search of an equaliser. Their spo­radic at­tacks failed to yield de­sired re­sults, but only served to leave them vul­ner­a­ble at the back.

Masocha then put the game to bed in the 80th minute by us­ing his big body frame to dis­pos­sess Bosso skip­per Felix Chin­dungwe and beat keeper Sibanda with a ris­ing left shot that hit the roof of the net.

Af­ter con­ced­ing the sec­ond goal, most High­landers fans started leav­ing the sta­dium and very few wit­nessed their team’s face-saver, which came from the boot of Si­mon Mu­nawa, who beat Rovers’ goal­keeper Vic­tor Twa­liki from close range. Rovers’ vic­tory saw them swap­ping places with Tsholot­sho to move third from bot­tom. Taku Shariwa, the Rovers’ coach, was happy with the vic­tory, which he said was not a fluke.

“It was a game where we could have lost, but we got our game plan right by hav­ing two de­fen­sive mid­field­ers. When we got the first goal, they be­gan to show signs of des­per­a­tion, leav­ing lots of gaps and we made use of that space. Now that we’ve reg­is­tered a sweet vic­tory against High­landers, let this be a warn­ing to other teams that we’re com­ing for them,” said Shariwa.

High­landers coach Erol Ak­bay rued his team’s first half misses and said it’s high time they got their act to­gether and started scor­ing.

Bosso have only man­aged two goals in six games, a wor­ry­ing statis­tic for a team that has its sights on the cham­pi­onship. They are third on the ta­ble with 31 points, six be­hind lead­ers FC Plat­inum.

“It was a bad day in the of­fice in that we played good foot­ball, but for­got to score. We made two stupid mis­takes and paid dearly. We’ve to quickly find a sys­tem that will work for us be­cause Prince Dube (striker) needs to play with some­one who un­der­stands him. Hope­fully we will get it right in our next game and use chances which we cre­ate,” said Ak­bay.

Mutare City Rovers striker Caleb Masocha (right) leaves High­landers skip­per Felix Chin­dungwe for dead on his way to scor­ing his team’s sec­ond goal against Bosso at Bar­bour­fifi elds Sta­dium yes­ter­day

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