lnnocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
Highlanders 1-0 Herentals
HIGHLANDERS coach Madida Ndlovu was unhappy with his players’ performance in their scrappy win over visiting Herentals in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
A beauty of a goal from midfielder Adrian Silla in the 48th minute sealed three points for Bosso to end their three-match losing streak.
Silla’s 30m pile drive was the highlight of the dull game that disappointed thousands that braved a windy afternoon to cheer on Bosso.
In his post match interview, Ndlovu said his side were lucky to walk away with three points.
“As an individual I’m not happy; these are lucky three points. I think this was the worst first half that l have watched my team playing. In the second half we tried to play, but we still failed to create any meaningful chances. If it was any other bigger side, we would not have won this game. I think luck was on our side today. That goal was beautiful, but we were very lucky to get three points,” said Ndlovu.
Herantals coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva said: “Sometimes football is not fair. We played well, but we still lost the game. We were the better side today, but it was not our day. I think the boys did well playing before this big crowd. I believe this was a very brave fight from the boys because we managed to keep the Bosso fans quiet with our good football but unfortunately we failed to win the game.”
Highlanders employed a 3-5-2 formation for yesterday’s win, with Gabriel Nyoni and Nigel Makumbe playing as forwards.
There was no place in the starting line-up for new acquisition Tinashe Makanda, whose transfer paper work is still incomplete.
The hosts’ first chance fell to Nyoni four minutes into the game, but his right-footed shot from inside the box was brilliantly saved by Frank Kuchineyi in goal for Herantals.
Makumbe could have grabbed the opener in the 24th minute after he had been teed up by Brian Banda inside the box, but he took too long to shoot allowing the visitors to cover their lines.
Five minutes later Ben Musaka found free room inside the box only to shoot weakly at Kuchineyi.
In the 27th minute, defender Gibson Chinobva almost sent Herentals into the lead with a long range dipping shot that was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda. That was the visitors’ first real opportunity in the first half.
The second half saw a rejuvenated Herentals taking the game to Highlanders, creating several chances.
Bosso, however, survived the onslaught and held onto the slender lead, thanks largely due to keeper Sibanda, who made a crucial save two minutes from the end by denying a powerful close range shot from Richard Hachiro.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, C Siamalonga, M Phiri, A Silla, P Musaka, G Makaruse (O Zibande 54th min), T Ndlovu, P Muduhwa, G Nyoni, N Makumbe (R Lunga 54th min)
Herentals: F Kuchineyi, W Chimbetu, B Majarira (T Mazhindu 70th min), B Maunganidze, C Mavhurume (R Chishaya 90th min), G Chinobva, T Benza (H Chikosa 87th min), A Majarira, R Hachiro, P Chota