Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Bosso lack of fitness exposed

By Ricky Zililo

BULAWAYO – Could it be fatigue or lack of fitness? This is the question that many asked themselves as they left Barbourfields Stadium after watching Highlanders running out of steam in the second half against Tsholotsho FC on Sunday.

Glum Faced: Highlanders fan
Glum Faced: Highlanders fan

The former champions, who have been working without a fitness trainer this season, saw their players playing second fiddle to Tsholotsho in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match, which they won 2-1.

Bosso dominated the first half and deservedly scored two goals in the opening stanza through striker Ralph Matema and defensive midfielder Simon Munawa.

Matema sublimely finished off a perfect Bruce Kangwa cross in the 36th minute, with Munawa getting Highlanders’ second four minutes later after capitalising on a defensive mix-up between Tsholotsho goalkeeper Nickel Marichi and a central defender.

Tsholotsho returned for the second half rejuvenated but were let down by indecision. The relegation-threatened side ran over Bosso, enjoying superior ball possession and tiring down their opponents.

That second half performance by Highlanders reminded many of their early season display when they easily tired in the last stanza of their matches. Highlanders’ interim technical advisor Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu conceded that fatigue took its toll on his players.

“We wanted to kill the game off in the first half because we knew that in the second half they were going to come at us strongly. The fatigue of playing three games in eight days affected our players in the second half,” said Zulu.

Going into the Tsholotsho game, Highlanders had played two taxing matches within three days against FC Platinum in the quarter-finals of the Easycall Cup and Hwange in a midweek league game.

The Bulawayo giants, however, may need to engage the services of a fitness trainer next season to improve on their players’ endurance if they are to seriously challenge for honours as the players have in the last few matches proved that they are capable of beating good teams with proper training.

The new coach needs to emphasise on better fitness for Bosso not to endure another indifferent season.

As it is, Highlanders who were lowly ranked a few weeks ago, are on position six with 41 points, two behind fifth placed Caps United.

Bosso can leapfrog Caps United in the event that they win their last game against ZPC Kariba and Makepekepe draw or lose against relegated Whawha. A top five position remains a wish for Highlanders because Caps United are also playing well.

The Green Machine were party spoilers at the weekend, holding FC Platinum to a 1-1 draw, effectively ending the platinum miners’ championship hopes as they remained four points behind champions Chicken Inn with just a game remaining.

With the top four already confirmed following Triangle United’s 2-1 win over Buffaloes, Caps United won’t easily give up their fifth place and will be out to dismiss Whawha to hold on. The top four teams comprise champions Chicken Inn, FC Platinum, Dynamos, who beat Chapungu 2-0, and Triangle United.

On the relegation side, How Mine confirmed their topflight slot for next season despite losing 0-1 to Dongo Sawmill. The 2015 season proved to be a forgetful one for the gold miners, who were among the pre-season favourites. How Mine have gone on a 13-match winless streak, since recording their last victory on May 12 against Buffaloes.

Sacking nomadic coach Luke Masomere did not help the miners’ cause as they ended the season woefully. The last PSL slot is being contested by Tsholotsho and Buffaloes. Tsholotsho are 12th with 30 points, just one point above Buffaloes, who are fourth from the bottom on 29 points.

The Zhwane Boys have an uphill task in their last game of the season against Harare City at home. Harare City were roasted 3-1 by Chicken Inn on Saturday and Tsholotsho will be praying that the Sunshine Boys’ Bulawayo nightmare continues at White City Stadium this coming weekend.

Nothing less than victory can save Tsholotsho, as a draw or defeat will see them going down should Buffaloes win against former champions Dynamos at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare. The Chronicle