Ricky Zililo in Bulawayo
Highlanders . . . . . . .(1)
ZPC Kariba . . . . . . . (0) 2
TWO goalkeeping howlers by Ariel Sibanda gifted visiting ZPC Kariba three points in yesterday’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League at Barbourfields as Bosso bit the dust for the first time at their fortress this season.
Sibanda’s first boob came on the stroke of the hour when he spilled Samuel Makawa’s low shot into the path of Moses Demera, who prodded it home to cancel Ozias Zibande’s 42nd minute lead for Bosso.
With the match seemingly headed for a share of the spoils, Bosso pushed everyone into the box for a corner and Sibanda needlessly stood in the centre circle in the second minute of the referee’s optional time and when ZPC Kariba cleared their lines, the ball fell to substitute Tawanda Nyamandwe, who made a shot run, aimed at goal and scored, with the goalkeeper stranded in no man’s land, to give the visitors their first win of the season.
The heartbreak came after Highlanders were denied a second by the crossbar in the 81st minute when Honest Moyo’s header off a Brian Banda corner cannoned off the woodwork.
The victory brought relief to ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi after his team had gone for nine games without a win. Yesterday’s win moved ZPC Kariba three places up the ladder from the basement of the table to 15th.
Zibande had put Highlanders ahead with a fine header off an Honest Moyo cross three minutes before the break, giving the home fans a false sense of belief that it would be another three points in the bag.
However, Sibanda’s first howler changed the complexion of the game, as ZPC began to dictate pace with their high balls, making full use of their height advantage.
Surprisingly, Bosso were lured into the ZPC Kariba trap by resorting to long balls instead of sticking to their usual passing game.
This saw ZPC Kariba quickly turning over possession by using their height, with Collen Muleya and Makawa causing problems for the Bosso backline with their aerial play.
Midfielder Adrian Silla’s substitution in the 52nd minute due to injury also swung the game in ZPC Kariba’s favour as his replacement Munyaradzi Chitambwe chased shadows for the rest of the match.
Bosso also lost Zibande to injury in the 79th minute, while Ben Musaka had to play the last 10 minutes of the game limping.
Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu said:
“I’ll term it as a bitter defeat looking at how we’ve thrown away the game. Of course credit will go to ZPC Kariba for the awareness they showed. We were in control of the game for almost three-quarters of the match. We moved the ball very well, but I think the turning point was the mistake from the goalkeeper.
“Such is the game, I thought we could have got a second goal from that corner kick, which hit the woodwork, and I think that is what got my boys a bit overzealous to try and get that winner. They were a bit in a hurry to get the winner and a costly mistake that the keeper made cost us a point.”
Tamirepi was happy with his team’s victory, which he said was long overdue.
“I’m happy with our first win of the season. We were actually on the back foot in the first half; we allowed Highlanders to play and couldn’t string two or three passes. We didn’t keep the ball, we couldn’t create any chances, but in the second half we were much better.
“Though we couldn’t match them, we launched sporadic attacks and got the goal during the run of play in what I can say was a gift goal as the keeper spilled the ball. They were desperate for a winner just like ourselves, but we got a winner on a counter attack,” said Tamirepi.
Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, McClive Phiri, Honest Moyo, Peter Muduhwa, Charlton Siamalonga, Ben Musaka, Adrian Silla (Munyaradzi Chitambwe, 52nd minute), Ray Lunga (Thabo Lunga, 66th minute), Brian Banda, Newman Sianchali, Ozias Zibande (Brian Jaravaza, 79th minute)
ZPC Kariba: Takabva Mawaya, Bornface Zuberi, Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe, Sylvester Appiah, Ian Nekati, Tawanda Munyanduri, Tsepo Ranthokoane (Tawanda Nyamandwe, 46th minute), Collen Muleya, Samuel Makawa (Simbarashe Gorogodyo, 70th minute), Moses Demera, Talent Chamboko