MUTARE HUMBLE BOSSO
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