Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

Ngezi Plat­inum Stars 1-0 High­landers HIGH­LANDERS yes­ter­day lost to a fired up and tac­ti­cally dis­ci­plined Ngezi Plat­inum in the semi-fi­nal of the Chibuku Su­per Cup at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium.

The de­feat also ended Bosso’s dream of a league and cup dou­ble.

The fi­nal will now be an all plat­inum min­ers’ af­fair at a venue yet to be con­firmed on Novem­ber 5.

FC Plat­inum beat Harare City 3-0 in an­other semi­fi­nal played at Man­dava Sta­dium in Zvisha­vane on Satur­day.

High­landers were con­demned by a 62nd Lib­erty Chako­roma penalty af­ter de­fender Peter Muduhwa had han­dled in­side the box. It was the se­cond penalty in­side a week that Muduhwa con­ceded. He also gave away a need­less penalty against Bu­l­awayo City in a league match at the same venue last week.

“I think I have to talk to him about his game. He did not play well to­day,” said a dis­ap­pointed High­landers coach Erol Ak­bay.

The “home” side an­nounced their in­ten­tion as early as the 11th minute when Chako­roma forced a div­ing save from goal­keeper Ariel Sibanda. Bosso re­sponded five min­utes later through Gabriel Ny­oni, who headed a bril­liant in-swinger from man-of-the-mo­ment Rah­man Kut­sanzira over the bar.

Kut­sanzira won pos­ses­sion by the cen­tre line, charged for­ward, rid­ing two tack­les be­fore get­ting into the box and ex­pertly swung the ball to Ny­oni, whose header went off tar­get.

Ngezi Plat­inum re­fused to be cowed into sub­mis­sion and ex­e­cuted their own at­tack in the 22nd minute through Nel­son Ke­tala, who made a solo run from the left flank be­fore de­liv­er­ing a cross that found an un­marked Ken­neth Bu­laji in­side the 12-yard box, but the former Dy­namos striker failed to com­pose him­self, as he directed his ef­fort over the bar.

Ref­eree Nor­more Musundire flashed his first yel­low card in the 26th minute in the face of By­ron Mad­zokore af­ter the cen­tre-back punched Ny­oni in an aerial ball tus­sle. As the first half ticked to the end, High­landers en­joyed ter­ri­to­rial ad­van­tage, but could not breach the Ngezi Plat­inum de­fence mar­shalled by the bril­liant Part­son Jaure. The first-half ended goal­less. In the se­cond half, High­landers pulled out the in­jured Si­mon Mu­nawa for King Nadolo, who, how­ever, failed to change the com­plex­ion of the game de­spite few flashes of bril­liance he showed.

Bu­laji shook his head in dis­be­lief in the 56th minute af­ter his shot was taken care of by Ariel.

Two min­utes later Ton­der­ayi Ndi­raya’s boys took the lead af­ter a mo­ment of mad­ness by Muduhwa, who han­dled a harm­less shot in­side the box.

Bosso made a tac­ti­cal sub­sti­tu­tion and changed their shape, pulling out right-back Tendai Ngu­lube for veteran for­ward Ralph Matema as they searched for the equaliser, which never came.

“I am over the moon; it’s not a usual case that one comes here and beats High­landers. To­day we were in con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion and I felt we could have scored three or four goals in the first half, all credit to the boys,” said Ndi­raya.

High­landers de­fender Peter Muduhwa and Ngezi Plat­inum’s By­ron Mad­zokore go air­borne for the ball at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium yes­ter­day

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