OUTSCORED, OUTWITTED, OUTMUSCLED, OUT-THOUGHT, OUTPLAYED, OUTFOXED
Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
GABRIEL NYONI — once of those black-and-white royal parishes but now a Green Machine player — has scored more goals than the entire Highlanders team in probably the most graphic illustration of the decline and decay which has paralysed the Premiership’s oldest football club.
Bulawayo Chiefs, once the most active domestic Premiership club on Twitter but now having to compete with cocky neighbours Chicken Inn on those interactive, and at times explosive cyber parishes, scored as many goals, in 90 minutes on Saturday, as Bosso have done all season.
And, of course, that was against Dynamos.
Mushowani Stars, once of the unfashionable parishes of Division One football but now parading their stuff on the big stage of the top-flight league, with their home-grown version of tiki-taka, scored as many goals, in 90 minutes on Sunday, as Highlanders have done all season.
And, of course, that was against CAPS United.
Evans Katema, the dreadlocked forward who not so long ago was winning the Division One Golden Boot but is now playing in the league of the big boys, and doing a pretty good job, scored as many goals, in just 45 minutes on Sunday, as Bosso have done all season.
And, that he even did it against a CAPS defence that, until their collapse against Chapungu, had only conceded two goals in this campaign, made his one-man resistance show even the more impressive.
Makepekepe, in just one game on Sunday, scored more goals than Highlanders have scored all season and, in the process, provided yet another reminder, if we needed any, of the impotence that has been suffocating this Bosso.
The Gamecocks, in just one-and-a-half hours of action on Sunday, in what observers predicted would be a huge test for them, scored more goals than Bosso have done all season.
That all this came in a showdown against the team, which had taken over the leadership of the championship race on Thursday, made their demolition job over the airmen even more impressive.
And that they are Bosso’s noisy neighbours even brought the challenges confronting Highlanders, for decades the heart and soul of football in the City of Kings and the pride of this beautiful metropolis, to this struggling giant’s doorstep.
That their biggest rivals Dynamos, themselves a shocking and choking imitation of what used to be the Glamour Boys — before some heartless and passionless individuals reduced them into this sorry sight, this effigy, this dummy and this carcass of what used to be the Boys in Boy — lost in the same city on Saturday, should have provided some relief.
And, that the knock-out blow was delivered by probably the weakest team in the league which, until Saturday, had not won a league game all season, should ordinarily have sent the Bosso family dancing, and mocking their eternal rivals, for enduring this ultimate humiliation.
But, these days, they have so much trouble, in their backyard, Highlanders are not even thinking about what’s happening elsewhere, even at this DeMbare side that, at best, is a joke and, at worst, a clown disguised as the latest generation of Glamour Boys.
Two goals in eight matches, following the goalless stalemate against Herentals at Barbourfields, is the stuff of nightmares and Bosso find themselves in a hole right now, unable to score goals, unsure where the next goal will come from, uncertain if they have anyone, in their ranks, to deliver on that front.
Highlanders, after eight games, have the worst strike-force in the league with just two goals while Bulawayo Chiefs, who are only bottom of the table because of an inferior goal difference, have even scored more than twice as many goals (five) than their city counterparts.
Herentals have scored only three goals and, using the law of averages, maybe it was only fitting that the duel between the two teams should end, as it did, in a goalless draw.
Six months ago, Nyoni was not only playing for Highlanders but was the team vice-captain before he decided the time had come to switch camp and return to his boyhood club, CAPS United.
Today, the speed merchant is a player undergoing a stunning resurgence, with his pace and trickery troubling defenders, and three goals, so far this season, have thrust him into one of the most important players at the Green Machine.
While his former teammates at Bosso are struggling for goals, collectively as a team, Nyoni has scored more goals than his old club, provided as many assists, two, as the entire Highlanders side have done in this campaign.
Highlanders have played FIVE of their eight matches at Barbourfields which, not so long ago, used to be their fortress but in 450 minutes of action at their home ground, they are yet to score, their fans are yet to celebrate a goal this season.
The two goals they have scored have come in Harare, against Black Rhinos (1-1) and against Harare City (1-3).
Bulawayo Chiefs’ victory over this miserable clone being paraded as DeMbare on Saturday means Bosso are the only Premiership club yet to win this season in the league.
Of course, they have lost only three games and, Dynamos (with four defeats), have lost more games but five draws, four of them goalless, including a controversial one against CAPS United in which the Green Machine’s last-gasp goal was, somehow, disallowed, represents either stagnation or capitulation. ‘’In six years’ (actually seven years’) time, the club will celebrate 100 years of existence and it would be very sad if we were to celebrate that nice feat outside,’’ Bosso ceremonial president, Ndumiso Gumede, told our sister newspaper, The Sunday Mail, at the weekend.
‘’But, I’m pretty sure everything will be back in place soon.’’
The problem, though, is that almost a quarter of the season has passed and Bosso, for all the optimism of their leaders, have not won a game, scored just two goals and, clearly, miss someone like Gabriel Nyoni in their team.