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Bulawayo City stun Bosso

Highlanders 1-2 Bulawayo City

By Ricky Zililo

First Division bound Bulawayo City claimed the bragging rights of the City of Kings derby by overturning a goal deficit to beat Highlanders in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

Bulawayo City’s Benson Phiri goes in for a tackle on Brian Banda
Bulawayo City’s Benson Phiri goes in for a tackle on Brian Banda

It was City’s second win against Highlanders in six league meetings since gaining promotion in 2016.
Before yesterday’s game, Bosso had won three games, drawn once and lost once against the local authority club.

With only pride to play for, City found themselves having to chase the game following Highlanders’ sixth minute goal that the referee credited to striker Tafadzwa Sibanda, when it appeared to have been scored by Bosso defender Tendai Ndlovu.

Highlanders were in control of the game in the first half, with Denzel Khumalo and Brian Banda outplaying City midfielders, but that dominance didn’t yield results as the municipal side returned from the halftime break a changed outfit.

Less than a minute into the second half, City equalised through striker Ozias Zibande, who is on loan from Highlanders.

The striker reacted quickly to head in a rebound after the upright had denied Trevor Ndlovu a goal.

The resultant goal came after Highlanders had failed to deal with a Crispen Ncube cross from the right.

Playing with urgency and more desire to win, City got the winner in the 66th minute through Sipho Ndlovu’s header. Just like the first goal which Bosso conceded, Highlanders failed to defend a cross and City pounced.

The defeat against City saw Highlanders’ top four ambitions taking a massive knock.

Bosso slipped from sixth position to seventh, tied on 44 points with Caps United and Herentals.

Highlanders lacked the edge upfront and on a few occasions that they breached City’s backline of Zephaniah Ngodzo, Zibusiso Sibanda, Ncube and Benson Phiri, Bosso failed to beat goalkeeper Kelvin Nyoni.

City moved a place up the table from position 17 to 16, but the victory and ascendency will not save them from the chop.

Bekithemba Ndlovu, City’s coach, was happy with his charges’ performance.

“Highlanders were in control for the better part of the first half with Brian Banda and Denzel Khumalo driving them. We returned from the break more determined and took control of the midfield, making sure that Denzel and Brian Banda are cut off.

The move paid off and I’m happy that despite being down, my players never gave up. It might be late (winning two games in a row) but we are getting rewards of our hard work,” said Ndlovu.

Highlanders’ assistant coach Mandla Mpofu barked instructions from the dugout with head coach Madinda Ndlovu watching from the terraces. Ndlovu was given leave to attend to family commitments.

“It was a game of two halves; we dominated the first and they took charge of the second half. I think we should have scored at least three goals in the first half when we were in control of the game. Poor defending of crosses let us down and we are very disappointed with the result,” said Mpofu.

Teams

Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, McClive Phiri, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Vincent Moyo, Tendai Ndlovu, Peter Muduhwa, Gabriel Nyoni, Brian Banda, Tafadzwa Sibanda (Tinashe Makanda, 68th minute), Denzel Khumalo (Nigel Makumbe, 78th minute), Newman Sianchali

Bulawayo City: Kelvin Nyoni, Crispen Ncube, Benson Phiri, Zephaniah Ngodzo, Zibusiso Sibanda, Ransome Pavari, Innocent Kutsanzira, Chris Samakweri (Sipho Ndlovu, 33rd minute), Trevor Ndlovu (Toto Banda, 90th minute), Ozias Zibande (Timothy January, 52nd minute), Lucky Nyathi

Results

Saturday:

-ZPC Kariba 1-0 Caps United

-Ngezi Platinum Stars 0-0 Chapungu

-Nichrut 0-1 Platinum, Chicken Inn 0-1 Bulawayo Chiefs

Yesterday:

-Mutare City Rovers 0-2 Yadah

-Dynamos 2-1 Black Rhinos

-Triangle United 0-1 Herentals

-Highlanders 1-2 Bulawayo City

-Shabanie Mine 0-1 Harare City

PSL TABLE

P W D L F A GD Pts
FC Platinum  30 21 5 4 48 14 34 68
Ngezi Stars    30 19 4 7 46 20 26 61
Chicken Inn   30 15 9 6 40 22 18 54
Triangle           30 15 3 12 37 30 7 48
Harare City   30 10 15 5 25 21 4 45
Caps United  30 11 11 8 31 24 7 44
Highlanders  30 12 8 10 29 23 6 44
Herentals       30 11 11 8 22 22 0 44
Black Rhinos 30 10 11 9 34 28 6 41
ZPC Kariba 30 11 11 8 25 24 1 41
Dynamos          30 9 10 11 24 32 -8 37
Byo Chiefs       30 8 11 11 25 30 -5 35
Yadah FC          30 8 11 11 30 38 -8 35
Chapungu         30 8 10 12 23 32 -9 34
Nichrut               30 8 8 14 27 33 -6 32
Byo City             30 6 4 20 25 41 -16 22
Mutare City     30 5 7 18 22 48 -26 22
Shabanie Mine 30 2 13 15 24 53 -29 19

**Three points deducted for use of a suspended player. The Chronicle.