Bosso shoot down battling Rhinos Baltemar Brito

Tadious Manyepo in BULAWAYO

Highlanders  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  (2)3

Black Rhinos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  (1)2

BLACK Rhinos forward Eli Ilunga scored a contender for goal of the season but the day belonged to new Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito who collected the maximum points on his debut in this entertaining Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie at Barbourfields yesterday.

Brito was appointed four weeks ago as replacement to Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu but missed Bosso’s last match against Harare City as his papers were not yet in order.

His assistant Joel Luphahla took charge of that game which they won 1-0 at Barbourfields.

And yesterday, Brito sat in the dugout before a raucous crowd which braved a chilly, drizzling weather in the City of Kings and what a game it was.

Bosso got their goals through Stanley Ngala and Lynoth Chikuhwa, who scored a brace, while Black Rhinos scored through Farai Banda and Ilunga.

The Bulawayo giants remain 10th on the log though with 23 points to their name, 15 behind leaders Chicken Inn.

It was a match that had everything resembling a thriller and the goals spiced it up.

But the highlight was Ilunga’s goal.

Winning the ball deep inside his own half with Rhinos trailing 1-2, Ilunga dribbled past one Bosso player and realised Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda was off his line.

With about two metres before reaching the centre line, Ilunga unleashed a cheeky drive that beat a backpeddling Sibanda into the net to stun the Soweto end of Barbourfields.

But in the end, it was Brito who would celebrate his debut delight.

“It was a tight game but I am happy we managed to win the game,” he said through an interpreter.

“We have been training together with the team for three weeks now and I am glad we managed to pick up the points. 

“The most important thing is to win the game and scoring as much as we did.

“There are still some areas which we feel we need to work on going forward.”

His opposite number Hebert ‘’Jompano’’ Maruwa was naturally disappointed with the defeat.

“Very disappointing result for us. Twice we came from behind and I thought we deserved something out of the match,” said Maruwa.

“We worked so hard and we were almost 50-50 with our opponents but we failed to concentrate at the end of the day and we got punished. We will go back to the drawing board and restrategise as we look forward to a better second half of the season.”

Highlanders meant business from the first whistle with Ray Lunga casing all sorts of trouble for the Black Rhinos rearguard.

But it wasn’t until the 39th minute when Ngala outjumped everyone in the box to nod home a header off a corner kick past a hesitant Blessing Mwandimutsira, in goals for the visitors.

But the lead was short-lived as Banda drew level five minutes later following a neat exchange of passes inside the Bosso box.

But the hosts restored their one goal advantage almost immediately when Chikuhwa guided home a low cross from the right to make sure Bosso went to the break leading the proceedings.

Black Rhinos returned from the interval a well-organised side and played some beautiful football.

Moments after the restart, Ilunga pounced and the match seemed to be heading for a deadlock until Chikuhwa volleyed from close range towards the end after capitalising from some poor marking by the Rhinos defenders.


Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Lynoth Chikuhwa (Chrispen Ncube 90th min) Muziwakhe Dhlamini (Darlington Mukuli 87th min) Stanley Ngala (Washington Navaya 72nd min) Devine Mhindirira (Devine Mhindirira 87th min), Ray Lunga, Rahman Kutsanzira (Andrew Mbeba 45th min), Peter Muduwa, Nqobizitha Masuku, Godfrey Makaruse, Mbongeni Ndlovu

Black Rhinos: Blessing Mwandimutsira, Collen Muleya, Blessed Mbavarira, Ashwald Phiri, Keith Madera (Christopher Brighton 75th min) Joe Nyabinde (Vincent Mhandu 87th min), Allen Gahadzikwa (Gracious Muleya 75th min) Farai Banda, Eli Ilunga, Philip Gweva (Tawanda Nyamandwe 49th min), Gareth Madhake

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