Highlanders end lacklustre run
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.