By Oscar Rusenga
Triangle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda produced a five-star performance as he led his side to a crucial win over Triangle in an entertaining Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Gibbo yesterday. The in-form Sibanda made a number of match-winning saves including a penalty in the second half, denying Russel Madamombe a goal from the spot-kick.
Bosso got their solitary goal in the seventh minute through Newman Sianchali.
Highlanders head coach Madinda Ndlovu showered praises on goalkeeper Sibanda before admitting that they won against a good team.
“He (Sibanda) is an experienced goalkeeper, he has saved us in many matches and today he again was in good form and was brilliant, but there were some decisions that were not favourable to us that were made by the referee.
“We played with a very good side. I knew that we were going to play against a solid team and the match was balanced . . . It was a game of two halves. We had our chances in the first half and Triangle had theirs in the second half,” Ndlovu.
Highlanders started the match on a good note and as early as the seventh minute they were rewarded with Sianchali sending the visiting fans into a frenzy.
Triangle, however, rolled up their sleeves as they went in search of an equaliser, but Madamombe missed a glorious opportunity when he shot wide in the 22th minute with Highlanders shot-stopper Sibanda a man to beat.
Eight minutes later the home side’s goalkeeper Ronald Mudimu kept his side in the game with a point-blank save from Gabriel Nyoni’s shot.
The two goalkeepers from both sides were busier the entire afternoon and in the 34th minute Sibanda made another crucial save from Kudzai Chigwida’s header.
Sibanda was enjoying the match of his life and just three minutes from the break he twice denied Madamombe.
Triangle started the second half a more purposeful side and they were awarded a contentious penalty by referee Josiah Masimira in the 60th minute which saw the match being stopped briefly as Highlanders protested against the decision.
Madamombe had a day to forget as he watched his shot from the spot-kick saved by the in-form Sibanda.
Triangle refused to be cowed into submission and former CAPS United player Phineas Bhamusi could have equalised for the home side in the 88th minute, but he skied his effort from four yards out as the ball dropped awkwardly in front of him.
Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro applauded the efforts of his side despite failing to collect at least a single point out of possible six in the last two games.
“It was one of the games where you cannot question the performance of the players. They applied themselves to a very good effect, their (Highlanders) goalkeeper Sibanda put up a superb show and he was the major reason why Triangle didn’t win today,” said Mangwiro.
Triangle: R. Mudimu, R. Kawondera, A. Chivheya, K. Chigwida, D. Dzvinyai, T. Mavhunga, A. Chivandire (H. Bakacheza 62nd min), C. Dhuwa, R. Madamombe (D. Murimba 83rd min), P. Bhamusi, N. Lameck (S. Makoni 31st min).
Highlanders: A. Sibanda, C. Simalonga, M. Phiri, A. Silla, B. Banda, N. Sianchali (R. Lunga 90th min), G. Makaruse, A. Mbeba, P. Mudhuwa, G. Nyoni, N. Makumbe. The Herald