Bosso move closer

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ed­die Chikamhi

Harare City 0 - 1 High­landers FC HIGH­LANDERS coach Erol Ak­bay be­lieves their vic­tory over Harare City at Ru­faro yes­ter­day could pro­voke his team’s charges to go and for broke and try and win the Cas­tle Lager Pre­mier­ship ti­tle for the first time in 10 years.

The race cracked wide open yes­ter­day after mid­fielder Allen Ga­hadzikwa scored the only goal of the match on the hour mark to lift Bosso to within four points of log lead­ers FC Plat­inum.

Goal­keeper Ariel Sibanda was the other hero as he made a cru­cial save to deny Harare City from the penalty spot after ref­eree Brighton Chimene had awarded a hotly-con­tested penalty.

But with the win, High­landers took ad­van­tage of the slip-up by the lead­ing pack of FC Plat­inum and Caps United, who had dropped points in their matches the pre­vi­ous day, to take their points tally to 44.

And with six games re­main­ing in the sea­son, and 18 points to play for, Ak­bay yes­ter­day said it was game on and was con­fi­dent High­landers will have a big say in the des­tiny of this year’s cham­pi­onship.

The Bu­l­awayo giants last won the league ti­tle back in 2006 with Methembe Ndlovu as coach and are des­per­ate to end the bar­ren run.

Ak­bay was in high spir­its after the match yes­ter­day with the re­newed hopes of a strong fin­ish.

“They (FC Plat­inum and Caps United) dropped the points and that means we have moved two points closer to these guys and that will give them more pres­sure to win every game and mo­ti­va­tion for us to win also every game.

“We have six games to go now and there is a dif­fer­ence of four points, it’s not too much. That means if you have a chance you have to go for it and we want to go for the cham­pi­onship, yes.

“This game is good mo­ti­va­tion. To win the next game again is very im­por­tant,” said Ak­bay.

High­landers are en­joy­ing a pur­ple patch and have gained more ground in the last month fol­low­ing an im­pres­sive run of four suc­ces­sive wins over How Mine, Bor­der Strik­ers, Dy­namos and Harare City.

Re­mark­ably, this was not only High­landers’ first win over Harare City at Ru­faro since 2012 when the Sun­shine Boys came to the big stage but it was also the first time they had scored them at the venue.

It needed mid-sea­son sign­ing Ga­hadzikwa to break the jinx for Bosso when he beat the Harare City de­fend­ers to an aerial ball and planted a pow­er­ful header from a good cross by rookie for­ward Prince Dube.

Ear­lier in the game, the sup­port­ers were treated to some in­ter­est­ing du­els with the sides play­ing good which tested both goal­keep­ers Tafadzwa Dube and Sibanda.

High­landers nearly pun­ished the hosts when City goal­keeper Dube failed to deal with a high cross from right­back Tendai Ngu­lube but the hosts re­sponded with a swift counter at­tack.

War­riors mid­fielder, Raphael Manu­vire, should count him­self un­lucky after his pile-driver crashed against the base­ment of the up­right post and from the re­bound rookie striker Jerry Chipan­gura some­how mis­di­rected his shot wide.

High­landers sup­port­ers rained mis­siles onto the pitch after the ref­eree ad­judged their cap­tain Erick Mudz­ingwa han­dled the ball in an at­tempt to clear the lines.

The de­ci­sion was met with protests from the vis­i­tors and po­etic jus­tice was de­liv­ered as goal­keeper Sibanda dived to his right and blocked Wil­liam Manondo’s spot kick.

Sibanda made an­other fran­tic save, in­jur­ing him­self in the process, when he stretched full length and tipped the ball over the bar after Ron­ald Chi­tiyo had un­leashed a fierce vol­ley at the edge of the box.

Ak­bay said they are aim­ing to main­tain the pres­sure on the top two teams by win­ning their next as­sign­ment at home against Ton­derai Ndi­raya’s Ngezi Plat­inum.

Harare City coach Moses Chunga was dis­ap­pointed by his side’s per­for­mance, es­pe­cially com­ing from a big win in the Chibuku Su­per Cup where they ham­mered strug­gling new­boys Bor­der Strik­ers 4-0 in their last match.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing the way we played. I think in first half we con­trolled the game but our ex­e­cu­tion in front of goal wasn’t that good.

“It’s al­ways dis­ap­point­ing to lose but as I have said we had 10 play­ers (un­avail­able for se­lec­tion) but I don’t mourn about that.

“We have to find a so­lu­tion, that’s the name of the game,” said Chunga.

Ariel Sibanda makes a cru­cial save to deny Harare City from the penalty spot

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