Mudz­ingwa, Kut­sanzira missed

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

THE ab­sence of sus­pended skip­per Erick Mudz­ingwa and his in­jured deputy Rahman Kut­sanzira has been felt at High­landers as the Bulawayo gi­ants were crudely ex­posed in their last three games.

Bosso have lost two and squeezed a win in their last three games.

High­landers lost on penal­ties to a largely in­ex­pe­ri­enced Dy­namos side in a pul­sat­ing In­de­pen­dence Cup fi­nal be­fore a ca­pac­ity crowd at the gi­ant Na­tional Sports Sta­dium on Tues­day.

The match could have ended in reg­u­la­tion time had it not been for a last gasp penalty awarded to them by ref­eree Brighton Chimene. Vet­eran striker Ralph Matema lev­elled mat­ters from the re­sul­tant spot kick to force the match into the dreaded penalty lot­tery.

Bosso though could ar­gue that DeMbare would not have scored had Chimene blown his whis­tle af­ter sec­ond as­sis­tant ref­eree Claris Si­mango raised her flag for an off­side against the Harare out­fit. The raised flag re­sulted in goal­keeper Ariel Sibanda mov­ing out of his line in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a free-kick, but as he re­treated upon notic­ing that play was still on, Masimba Mam­bare pounced. Si­mango ought to have kept her flag up.

But de­spite the de­bat­able match ref­eree’s de­ci­sions, High­landers had strug­gled, par­tic­u­larly in mid­field, and that has been the case since the in­jury of Kut­sanzira in the 3-0 de­mo­li­tion of FC Plat­inum and Mudz­ingwa’s red card against Sha­banie Mine.

The two play­ers are gifted with ball pass­ing skills and mark­ing, and they usu­ally win pos­ses­sion and give the ball to play­ers like young Brian Banda, Al­lan Ga­hadzikwa and Si­mon Mu­nawa.

Kut­sanzira is also a good drib­bler and passer of the ball, while Mudz­ingwa is a grafter in the cru­cial mid­field depart­ment.

While Mu­nawa wins the ball, Ga­hadzikwa and Banda rarely do so, mean­ing Bosso are al­ways in dan­ger when op­po­nents are in pos­ses­sion. Strik­ers Prince Dube and Ro­drick Mu­tuma have been seen in the mid­field ter­ri­tory try­ing to win the ball and if they do, they can only pass it within or send a back pass be­cause there won’t be any­one up­front.

High­landers have only man­aged two goals in open play in the three matches they have played with­out Kut­sanzira and Mudz­ingwa, but man­aged to score three in one match when the duo was present.

“We badly need the two play­ers; that is why there is no op­por­tu­nity to change our style of play if our ini­tial plan fails. We tried it yes­ter­day but it did not have that im­pact hence the rea­son we badly miss Kut­sanzira and Mudz­ingwa,” said coach Erol Ak­bay.

Kut­sanzira, said Ak­bay, might make his re­turn this week­end when they play bo­gey side ZPC Kariba at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium.

Mudz­ingwa re­turns for the away trip to Tsholot­sho on Wed­nes­day next week. — @skhu­moyo2000

Rahman Kut­sanzira Erick Mudz­ingwa

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