Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau
Dynamos 0-2 Highlanders
HIGHLANDERS yesterday claimed the bragging rights in their rivalry with Dynamos after coasting to a deserved victory in the final of the Independence Cup at the National Sports Stadium.
Bukhosi Sibanda and Tinashe Makanda grabbed second half goals to ensure Bosso had the game in the bag following a dominant performance on the muddy surface.
Both teams came into this final on the back of depressing results after losing their previous encounters in the domestic league.
Dynamos have now lost three straight games in competitive football following the league defeats to Hwange and Chicken Inn.
Bosso had not won a game since the league started and their coach Madinda Ndlovu said yesterday’s victory presented them with a morale-booster.
“It’s a game that, of course, we have won but when we look back at it, it’s an occasional game. We don’t bank on occasional games. We are trying to look at the bigger spectrum, which is the league,’’ said Ndlovu.
“We don’t change our kind of thinking in terms of analysing our players. I think we have not got to where we want to be in terms of our fitness levels.
“So, we still have got to work hard and try and make sure that our players get to enjoy this type of football that they played today because that is our trademark type of football, the passing game.
“If they are really fit to the levels that we want them to be then we can enjoy more than what we saw today.’’
Sibanda sent Bosso into the lead when he drilled home a rising shot from just inside the box after DeMbare had failed to deal with a corner kick in the 49th minute.
DeMbare had a good chance to come back into the game but they fluffed the lifeline when their skipper Jimmy Tigere crashed a penalty against the cross bar with 69 minutes on the clock.
Congolese forward Ngandu Mangala had also hit the foot of the upright after breaking into the box in the frantic search for the equaliser.
But Makanda delivered the knockout blow for Bosso with 15 minutes remaining via a low shot that deceived goalkeeper Simba Chinani from the edge of the box.
A downpour earlier during the Independence Day ceremony had left the turf difficult to play on but Highlanders got off to a fine start on that sticky patch.
The Glamour Boys almost stole the lead when Tawanda Macheke forced a diving save from goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda before Mangala struck the side net with the follow-up shot from a tight angle.
Bosso had a better chance to go ahead in the 28th minute when a move into the box found Ray Lunga unmarked but goalkeeper Chinani stretched to his right to deny the diminutive forward from point blank.
Action quickly swung to the other end where Macheke’s chip landed on the roof after beating advancing goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda in a counter attack.
Dynamos coach Lloyd Chigowe, who is now feeling the pressure of the winless run, rued the missed opportunities.
“We missed too many chances. If you don’t put the ball in the nets, eventually you get punished,’’ he said.
“Highlanders played equally well but we created chances and we even went on to miss from the penalty spot and in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper.
“So it’s not happening for us,” said Chigowe.
DeMbare were without their skipper Edward Sadomba, Emmanuel Jalai and the Cameroonians Vincent Mbega and Claude Junior Ngahan.
The giants were told just before the game that their captain, who picked a red card in their last league match at Chicken Inn, could not play due to the suspension.
Bosso also missed their captain Prince Dube and Zambian import Peter Nyirenda.
Dynamos: S Chinani, A Maliselo, T Muringai, J Tigere, M Mawadza, M Chodeva (T Chisi, 46th minute), E Mhungu (N Katawa, 46th minute), J Nyateme (K Dhemere, 59th min), G Mukambi, T Macheke, N Mangala
Highlanders: A Sibanda, B Ncube, M Ndlovu (A Mbemba, 76th min), T Ndlovu, P Muduhwa, A Silla, G Makaruse (C Kapupurika, 57th min), N Masuku (D Mhindirira, 76th minutes), R Lunga, T Makanda, B Sibanda.