Bad officiating spoils Barbourfields clash Brighton Ncube

Innocent Kurira at Barbourfields Stadium

Highlanders 1-1 Manica Diamonds

REFEREE Lawrence Zimondi hogged the limelight and proved to be out of his depth when he officiated yesterday’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium.

He made a series of dubious decisions throughout the game, leaving fans wondering if he was acquainted with the laws of the game.

At one moment he stopped play for an injured player to be attended to and instead of resuming with a drop ball, he asked the player with possession to place the ball down and resume like it was a free kick.

This move is completely against the rules of the game, and it confused the players on both sides as well as the fans. Zimondi’s poor decision-making continued throughout the match, as he frequently made calls that were questionable at best.

He was quick to blow his whistle for minor infractions or non-existent fouls, leading many to wonder whether he is competent at this level.

Overall, it was an incredibly frustrating experience for players and spectators alike to watch the referee’s blatant disregard for the rules of the game. Highlanders may have ended Manica Diamonds’ eight-game winning streak, but that will not take away what a frustrating afternoon it turned out to be for the hosts.

Brighton Ncube

Besides Bosso themselves faltering badly in front of goal, the decisions by Zimondi left the Bosso faithful disgruntled.
Highlanders goalkeepers’ coach Daniel Khumalo was red-carded in additional time while Andrew Mbeba and Gillian Nyathi were substituted due to injury to cap a frustrating afternoon for Bosso.

The hosts could be justified in feeling they could have gotten more out of this tie if they had been clinical in front of goal.

Despite launching several raids in the Manica Diamonds’ box, Bosso still could not score more than the one goal they got inside the first two minutes of the game.

The visitors appeared to have been caught out cold after conceding inside the first two minutes of the game
Bosso striker Brighton Ncube found himself unmarked inside the box and slotted home with little difficulty. It was his fifth goal of the season.

Bosso enjoyed much of the possession from then on, but were outdone by a Tawanda Macheke tap-in after 19 minutes. Macheke finished off a neat interchange from Manica Diamonds.

Even after conceding, Bosso continued to enjoy much of the ball, but always seemed to run out of ideas in the final third.

The decision-making in most instances left the low crowd by Bosso standards in awe.On many occasions, the crowd would scream for the players to shoot, but the attempts mostly crushed against Manica defenders, or the players took too long to make the decision leading to the frustration of those who paid the increased gate charges for this game.
Ncube almost doubled Bosso’s lead just before the visitors’ equaliser.

This was after a loose ball fell on his path inside the box, but an alert Geofrey Chitsumba in goal for Manica Diamonds dealt with the danger.

Manica Diamonds had a quick start to the second half with Macheke squaring for Michael Tapera, who blazed his effort over the bar in the 48th minute.

In the 65th minute Lynoth Chikuhwa rifled from outside the box, but missed the target as Bosso continued to probe.
Ncube almost stole the winner in the 82nd minute, but again Chitsumba was on hand to keep the scores level as he parried the striker’s flick for a corner kick.

Bosso welcomed back Mbeba from suspension, but still missed the services of Godfrey Makaruse and Archford Faira who are still recovering from injury.

Marvelous Chigumira started at left back while Mbeba was moved to the right. Gillian Nyathi partnered with Muduhwa at the heart of the defence.

In his post-match interview, Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu declined to comment about the match officials, but seemed to suggest he was not happy with some calls made in the game.

“It was not going to be easy against a team that is in form. They have been consistent in picking up points, but this is a game that we dominated. In the second-half, we played most of our game in their half. We had several chances that we could not finish in the first-half, but to get a point in this game and maybe just to stop them from going forward was good.

“We still have to play another game for us to catch up with teams at the top, but I liked the response and the attitude and how Tower (Andrew Mbeba) and Peter (Muduhwa) behaved despite what was going on in the field. We told them to just focus on the game and that is what we saw. We had many chances, we scored early, this time we were the first ones to score unlike when we have conceded,” said Kaindu.

His opposite number Jairos Tapera was content with a point on the road.“We are happy to pick up a point against Highlanders. We knew they would come at us. Unfortunately, we conceded early, but we managed to come back into the game,” said Tapera.

However, the current poor refereeing standards in local football are a significant issue that requires urgent attention. Zifa must act quickly and decisively to address the problem before it undermines the game’s integrity and drives fans and players away.

R Pitisi, M Chigumira, D Mhindirira (P Ndlovu, 87mins), L Chikuhwa, Mckinnon Mushore, A Mbeba (M Khoza, 80mins), Mason Mushore, P Muduhwa, G Nyathi (B Mlotshwa, 90mins), B Ncube (C Chigonero, 87mins), M Ncube
Manica Diamonds
G Chitsumba (gk), L Masibhera, T Jubane, F Banda, T Chisi, J Takunda, N Mupinduki (E Karembo, 73mins), B Amidu (K Dhemere, 73mins), C Teguru, P Mtasa (M Tapera, 46mins), T Macheke (I Binzi, 80mins)

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