By Ricky Zililo
How Mine 0-2 Highlanders
Two brilliantly executed first half goals by Simon Munawa and Bruce Kangwa dismissed How Mine in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday and powered Highlanders to their sixth win of the season.
The victory moved Bosso a step up the ladder to third with 20 points; one behind leaders Caps United, albeit with a game in hand. With a bit of luck and precision, Highlanders who looked dangerous each time they counter attacked, could have won by a bigger margin.
Highlanders should have shot into the lead in the 16th minute when South Africa-bound Knox Mutizwa beat the offside trap to get to the end of a Rahman Kutsanzira pass and dribbled past How Mine goalie Munyaradzi Diya, only to shoot wide with the goal yawning.
However, Munawa gave Highlanders the lead two minutes later when he brilliantly chipped the ball over the advancing Diya after being set up by striker Prince Dube.
That goal somehow choked How Mine, whose first attempt at goal only came in the 27th minute when Kuda Musharu shot straight at stand-in goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni, who fumbled the harmless effort and was only saved some blushes by the ball rolling out for a corner.
Nyoni was given a rare start only because regular keeper Ariel Sibanda had family commitments.
On the half hour mark, Kangwa broke on the right and unleashed a dipping shot that Diya parried for a corner. Three minutes before the break, Kangwa hit the mark to give Bosso the cushion they needed by doing justice to an intelligent defence-splitting pass from Munawa, beating Diya with a right footer.
Kangwa’s performance was exceptional considering he only arrived in Bulawayo on Friday evening from Namibia where he was with the Warriors at the Cosafa tournament. How Mine coach Kelvin Kaindu felt his side conceded soft goals.
“It’s unfortunate that we lost. I think we gave away easy goals. The first goal came from nothing as they broke and scored. I think the character we showed in matches against big teams wasn’t there. We tried to push them back in the second half, but failed in the final third,” said Kaindu.
How Mine forced four corners in the first five minutes of the second half, with left back Qadr Amini twice nearly beating Nyoni directly from the set pieces.
The gold miners played the last 20 minutes of the match a man down after defender Kudzai Chideu received his second yellow card for a foul on King Nadolo on the edge of the box. However, even with a man down, How Mine never lost their tempo and kept pressing Bosso.
Musharu should have reduced the deficit in the 74th minute when he beat a poor offside trap to come face-to-face with Nyoni only to shoot straight into the hands of the Highlanders’ shot stopper.
Young Dube was also guilty of missing a sitter he blazed over in the 85th minute after getting to the end of a Kangwa cross from the left. Bosso coach Erol Akbay was full of praise for his defence.
“I’m happy with the way we played, especially in the first half when we played with high tempo. I think my defenders did well to shut them out and protect the goalkeeper, even though at times we came short in midfield,” said Akbay. The Chronicle
How Mine: Munyaradzi Diya, Praise Tonha, Qadr Amini, Kudzai Chideu, Tapiwa Kumbuyani, Mukundike Sakala, Tsepo Ranthokoane, Toto Banda (Adolf Muganyi, 68th minute), Thembani Masuku (Pasca Manhanga, 40th minute), Kuda Musharu (Fungai Chirinda, 75th minute), Godfrey Nguwodzawo
Highlanders: Njabulo Nyoni, Benson Phiri, Honest Moyo, Felix Chindungwe, Tendai Ndlovu, Erick Mudzingwa, Rahman Kutsanzira (King Nadolo, 38th minute), Simon Munawa, Bruce Kangwa (Brian Banda, 88th minute), Knox Mutizwa (Kasimero Chimbadzwa, 86th minute), Prince Dube
Saturday: ZPC Kariba 1-0 Tsholotsho FC, *Chicken Inn v FC Platinum (Luveve), Bulawayo City 0-2 Harare City
Sunday: Dynamos 2-0 Ngezi Platinum Stars, How Mine 0-2 Highlanders, Border Strikers 1-2 Chapungu, Triangle United 0-1 Hwange, Mutare City Rovers 0-2 Caps United
Match postponed due to three or more players called for national team assignment