By Ricky Zililo
HIGHLANDERS’ players responded to coach Madinda Ndlovu’s call to show mental strength with a gallant show away to Harare City on Saturday.
Bosso, who are third on the table with 29 points, nine behind joint leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars and FC Platinum, had to play for the better part of the second half with 10 players after defender Andrew Mbeba was red carded in the 47th minute.
At the time of Mbeba’s sending off, the score line was 1-1. Godfrey Makaruse had given Bosso a ninth minute lead before Wilfred Muvirimi equalised three minutes later.
Harare City, whose movement on and off the ball is remarkable, were expected to run over a 10-man Bosso, but Ndlovu’s boys played as unit and thwarted all City’s raids.
Highlanders were inspired by the return of midfielder Nigel Makumbe, who grabbed the winner, as Bosso stole maximum points.
Makumbe scored when Bosso had nine players on the pitch, as defender Bukhosi Ncube was receiving treatment in the 61st minute.
It is the ability to protect the lead against a Harare City side that was firing from all angles that was a marvel to watch. Bosso keeper Ariel Sibanda also made numerous saves from City’s raids to deny them at least a point.
What became clear on Saturday is that Highlanders play good and entertaining football when away from Barbourfields Stadium.
Bosso have been blowing hot and cold at Barbourfields, yet they raise their game on the road.
So far, Highlanders have played five matches outside Bulawayo, winning three, 2-0 against Herentals, 1-0 against Dynamos and 2-1 over Harare City. They lost 1-0 away to Ngezi and drew 0-0 against Yadah to take 10 points on the road from a possible 15.
What Highlanders’ players need in Bulawayo games is to have the same attitude they exhibit when playing away.
In as much as Ndlovu and the club insist that they’re not gunning for the championship, trailing leaders by nine points, which is three games, makes them outside contenders.
Highlanders’ next game is against Bulawayo Chiefs at Barbourfields and they wrap up the first half of the season with an away trip to FC Platinum.
Chiefs stunned Ngezi with a 1-0 win, becoming the first side to beat the log leaders this season. Gracious Muleya scored from the penalty spot to hand Chiefs their third win of the season which took them out of the relegation hellhole. The Chronicle