High­landers end lack­lus­tre run

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

High­landers 2 - 0 How Mine TWO first half goals gave High­landers their first win of the sec­ond half of the 2016 Castle Lager Pre­mier­ship cam­paign against a tac­ti­cally dis­ci­plined How Mine at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

How Mine coach Kelvin Kaindu felt it was un­for­tu­nate that his boys had lost to a team that had been on a los­ing streak, while they had been grind­ing re­sults since the re­sump­tion of the sec­ond half.

Bosso, who had gone for six matches with­out a win, got their goals from a 29th minute penalty by stand-in skip­per Erick Mudz­ingwa, who con­trolled the mid­field, and a low header by new boy Allen Ga­hadzikwa three min­utes into the ref­eree’s op­tional time.

Bosso were first to ask ques­tions through Si­mon Mu­nawa, who, how­ever, failed to do jus­tice to a Prince Dube de­liv­ery in the ninth minute.

The match then be­came a see­saw af­fair, as both teams chose to stay be­hind the ball prob­a­bly hop­ing for a loose break.

High­landers were then forced to make a sub­sti­tu­tion in the 29th minute when goal­keeper Prosper Matutu sus­tained an in­jury. First team reg­u­lar Ariel Sibanda was brought on. It was Matutu’s sec­ond in­jury in­side eight min­utes.

Bosso found them­selves in front nine min­utes be­fore the break through a Mudz­ingwa spot kick af­ter Ga­hadzikwa was brought down in­side the box by Kudzai Chideu as Bosso at­tacked.

Ga­hadzikwa was to haunt How Mine again in the 45th minute, but his ef­fort went over the bar af­ter How Mine goal­keeper Bernard Dono­van had fum­bled a harm­less look­ing shot. Mo­ments later, Erol Ak­bay’s men went 2-0. Winger Rah­man Kut­sanzira won a free-kick on the right side and took the re­sul­tant set piece. His de­liv­ery found cen­tre-back Tendai Ndlovu, who sent in a dip­ping header that was met with a low header from an alert Ga­hadzikwa, who was well po­si­tioned in­side the penalty area.

The sec­ond half saw both teams up­ping their game and Kaindu brought in Tim­o­thy Jan­uary for Heritein Ma­suku in the 56th minute. The move al­most paid div­i­dends three min­utes later had keeper Sibanda not been alert to save Bosso blushes.

Jan­uary was to see red in the 63rd minute for what is sus­pected to be use of foul lan­guage to ref­eree Nduna Nkosana, who had a firm grip of the match.

Jan­uary had just been shown a yel­low card to­gether with the out­stand­ing Mudz­ingwa and sec­onds later his seven min­utes on the pitch came to an end when he re­ceived a sec­ond yel­low.

“It’s sad that we lost him mo­ments af­ter com­ing in and I am re­ally not happy with that, but this is foot­ball,” said Kaindu.

High­landers’ coach Erol Ak­bay in­tro­duced King Nadolo for Ga­hadzikwa in a bid to pin How Mine in their own half, but Kaindu pulled out de­fender Toto Banda for an­other drib­bler Adolf Mu­ganyi to counter Bosso’s move.

The game picked up mo­men­tum af­ter that and fans were treated to some ex­cit­ing foot­ball.

Bosso as­sis­tant coach Amini Soma-Phiri was sent to the ter­races for sus­pected use of foul lan­guage to­ward the match of­fi­cial. Soma-Phiri’s ut­ter­ances will cost High­landers a fine. “The most im­por­tant thing was three points, not nice foot­ball,” said a vis­i­bly re­lieved Ak­bay in his post match in­ter­view.

Kaindu also felt his side gave away soft goals. “We could have avoided that penalty, but I still feel we played bet­ter than them, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond half, and moreso when we were a man down,” he said.

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