Bosso through to Chibuku quar­ters

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo uMthun­ywa

High­landers 2-1 Mutare City Rovers RALPH Matema rose from the bench to score High­landers’ win­ner for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive week as Bosso saw off vis­it­ing Mutare City Rovers to ad­vance to the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Chibuku Su­per Cup at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

With both teams tied at 1-1, Matema, who re­placed the in­ef­fec­tive Allen Ga­hadzikwa in the 61st minute, scored the win­ner in the 79th minute when he beat Mutare City Rovers’ goal­keeper Philip Nhete at the near post.

Matema, who scored High­landers’ win­ner in the 2-1 league vic­tory over Dy­namos last week, did jus­tice to Bosso’s build up to the sec­ond goal by con­nect­ing a Prince Dube cross from the right.

High­landers had taken the lead four min­utes into stop­page time through a clas­sic own goal by Mun­yaradzi Sako, who beat Nhete in a des­per­ate at­tempt to block a hard and low cross de­liv­ered by Dube.

How­ever, a blun­der by High­landers’ left-back Hon­est Moyo, who failed to con­trol a sim­ple pass in the 47th minute, gifted Mutare City Rovers the equaliser. Collen Muzavazi re­acted quickly to col­lect the loose ball and fed Agrippa Murimba, who eas­ily beat drawn out High­landers’ goal­keeper Ariel Sibanda.

Bosso could have won the game by a wider mar­gin had they not fluffed five clear-cut chances, three in the first half and two in the sec­ond.

Bosso play­ers were seem­ingly af­fected by Mutare City Rovers’ mind games in­volv­ing sus­pected juju. The home team’s play­ers kept go­ing to “re­move things” from goal­keeper Nhete’s goal area.

Nhete’s an­tics of “plant­ing some­thing” in his goal area ag­i­tated Bosso fans in the Soweto stand, who re­acted by throw­ing bot­tles with urine when­ever their play­ers missed clear cut chances.

Bosso mid­fielder Si­mon Mu­nawa pro­duced the miss of the day in the 25th minute when he ran into the box to meet a good de­liv­ery by Moyo from the left, only for him to un­be­liev­ably head over bar with Nhete stranded.

Six min­utes later, Dube sneaked be­hind Mutare City de­fend­ers, but also headed wide, con­vinc­ing Bosso fans that some juju had been planted in the goal area.

In the 32nd minute, Ga­hadzikwa beat two mark­ers, passed to Dube on the wide side, who re­turned the favour with a del­i­cate cross that Ga­hadzikwa also di­rected off tar­get.

Mutare City rarely trou­bled High­landers in the first half, but a mem­ber of their tech­ni­cal team was in­volved in a fra­cas with a Bosso mar­shal, re­sult­ing in po­lice in­ter­ven­tion. The vis­i­tors’ of­fi­cial ran to­wards Nhete’s goal area, but the mar­shal stopped him, suspecting that he was tak­ing some juju.

How­ever, the first half in­jury time goal for High­landers calmed the fans’ nerves. Their lead only lasted two min­utes into the sec­ond half as the vis­i­tors equalised.

A lapse in con­cen­tra­tion by Moyo saw Mutare City mak­ing a quick counter at­tack to score.

The vis­i­tors’ game plan was to ab­sorb pres­sure from High­landers and get them on the counter and it nearly paid off.

Af­ter scor­ing the equaliser, Mutare City laid back as if they wanted the match to be de­cided through penal­ties.

How­ever, de­fend­ing too deep by Mutare City gave Bosso room to cre­ate more scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Dube skied an ef­fort over the bar in the 48th minute with Nh­lanhla Ndlovu hit­ting the up­right min­utes later.

High­landers’ keeper Sibanda pro­duced a great save, punch­ing away Mutare City cap­tain Chas­ten Ngon­do­nga’s ef­fort in the 72nd minute.

A good build-up in­volv­ing Erick Mudz­ingwa, Rah­man Kut­sanzira, Tendai Ngu­lube and Dube led to Matema’s 79th minute goal, which won the game for Bosso.

Mutare City coach Taku Shariwa said los­ing to High­landers was a bless­ing in dis­guise as he would now fo­cus on their sur­vival fight.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate that we lost, but I think this might be a bless­ing in dis­guise so that we con­cen­trate on our rel­e­ga­tion fight. We con­ceded soft goals,” said Shariwa.

Bosso gaffer Erol Ak­bay said: “It’s a good win for us, but we’re not think­ing about the fi­nal yet. We need to take each game as it comes.” – @ZililoR

High­landers’ Hon­est Moyo (left) tus­sles for the ball with Mutare City’s Collen Muzavazi dur­ing a Chibuku Su­per Cup match played at Bar­bour­fields STa­dium yes­ter­day. Pic By Den­nis Mudza­miri A High­landers fan car­ries a ban­ner of news­pa­per with a mes­sage sup­port­ing High­landers dur­ing the team’s match with Mutare City at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium yes­ter­day

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