|Highlanders train unstoppable|
|Monday, 20 August 2012 00:00|
HIGHLANDERS’ good run in the Ca-stle Lager Premiership soccer championship race continued unabated yesterday when they edged Gunners at Barbourfields yesterday.
Bosso have now gone for 18 games without a defeat and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the opponents to stop the juggernaut.
The home side collected maximum points courtesy of a 19th minute header by Milton Ncube following a cross by Bruce Tshuma from the right flank.
The Gunners goalkeeper Stephen Chimusoro could not stop the header from close-range.
The move prior to the goal saw five Highlanders players exchanging passes before Moyo spotted an overlapping Tshuma on the right who intelligently brought in a cross that found Ncube inside the 12-yard box to nod home.
“Highlanders simply deserved to win because they played well,” Gunners’ coach Thanks Tengwe said after the match.
Bosso could have easily scored more than half-a-dozen goals but their players took turns to miss the target.
“I think complacency was our biggest undoing, especially in the second half,” said Bosso gaffer Kelvin Kaindu.
Bosso could have grabbed a second goal a minute later through Ozias Zibande who headed over from just under the bar after being set up by Moyo.
He had managed to fool Gunners outstanding captain Pardon Chinungwa.
Three minutes later, Masimba Mambare, operating from the right flank, made a mockery of Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe who saw it in his wisdom to bring Mambare down and the referee, Nkosana Nduna, who had a good day in office, rightfully signalled for an infringement and gave the Gunners left-back a yellow card.
Kunyarimwe had a terrible afternoon which definitely he would not want to remember.
Gunners kept on back peddling as Highlanders threatened to score many goals as they did against Quelaton but goals were just not coming.
Some of their forays were thwarted by Valentine Ndaba who also had a decent game in midfield and perhaps it is because of him that Bosso scored just one goal.
Even coach Kaindu agrees that the visitors were more visible in midfield.
“Our opponents congested the midfield and it was difficult for us to play our usual game,” he said.
In the 32nd minute, Mambare was to embarrass Kunyarimwe again when he left him sprawling on the turf near the corner flag but his cross found no takers inside the box with the ball trickling away for a throw-in.
He was to be brought down again just outside the box by the same man and this time Nduna was lenient as the tackle deserved a yellow card which could have sent the Gunners defend for an early shower.
The set-piece was again wasted by Highlanders in an afternoon in which there was poor execution of free-kicks.
The second half saw Highlanders making a double substitution, Bhekimpilo Ncube coming out for Honest Moyo and chief striker Graham Ncube replacing Zibande.
Moyo took the left-back position and the hard running Bruce Kangwa was then pushed forward to the left wing.
Gunners were then to make their own changes, bringing in Tapiwa Mangezi for Elvis Gutuza in the 54th minute before making another change 18 minutes later, taking out Ndaba for Farai Madora with Bosso taking out Milton for Simon Munawa three minutes later.
The substitutes made little impact to Highlanders game but the opposition caused anxious moments for Bosso towards the end.
“We gave Highlanders too much respect from the onset. We failed to even mark them especially on the wings where I think they were stronger but nevertheless I think my boys played very well and now the focus is on surviving relegation,” said Tengwe.
His counterpart, Kaindu, who has transformed Highlanders into a powerful team, said the match was one of the most difficult they have encountered at Barbourfields this year.
“What is important though is that we collected three points and we still remain unbeaten,” he said.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, B Tshuma, E Mudzingwa, I Mapuranga, M Maphosa, P Moyo, M Ncube (S Munawa 75th minute), B Ncube (H Moyo 52nd minute), O Zibande G Ncube 52nd minute), M Mambare, B Kangwa
Gunners: S Chimusoro, P Chinungwa, M Muchenje, I Lawe (T Dephistara 78th minute), W Gondo, J Jangano, V Ndaba (F Madora 72nd minute), B Sande, E Gutuza (T Mangezi 54th minute), F Chirinda, M Kunyarimwe.