By Don Makanyanga
After losing his two opening matches of the season, Mark Harrison made five changes for the clash against Highlanders at Rufaro yesterday and the Briton was all smiles at the final whistle.
“It was important that we did not lose the game, we needed to get something out of it,” said Harrison after watching his team come from behind to secure their first Castle Lager Premier Soccer League win of the season.
Harare City lost 0-2 to FC Platinum before being humbled 1-3 by Manica Diamonds last weekend.
The poor start forced Harrison into chopping Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, Takudzwa Chimwemwe, Ray Uchena, Moses Muchenje and Ishmael Wadi out of the starting XI.
In came goalie Kelvin Shangiwa, Gareth Madhake, Munyaradzi Diro Nyenye, Learnmore Muyambo and Tatenda Tumba.
Yet it was Highlanders who had the better start.
The visitors took the lead on 25 minutes through Prince Dube who beat Harare City’s offside trap before unleashing a powerful strike from inside the box.
However, the Sunshine Boys rallied back with goals from Diro Nyenye, Walter Mukanga and Tatenda Tumba weighing out Dube’s effort.
“We had control of the game, even when they scored, which was an unfortunate goal, I knew we were going to win the game. The boys who stayed in the team and those that came in did a fantastic job and I am well pleased with the result.
“Changes needed to be made because the performance last week was a disgrace, heads had to roll,” added Harrison.
Diro Nyenye capitalised on a defensive blunder to tap home on 29 minutes while Mukanga put the home side into the lead when he got to the end of a Martin Vengesayi cross.
Tumba increased the Sunshine Boys’ lead in the 58th minute after some brilliant footwork inside the box.
Harare City were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute when substitute Denzel Chimwemwe was pulled down by McClive Phiri, who was subsequently sent off, but Mukanga wasted the opportunity to grab a brace.
Bosso coach Madinda Ndlovu lamented his players’ failure to come to the party.
“Congratulations to Harare City for their first win of the season they wanted it, and you could see that they were much hungrier than us.
“And I admit that we gave the game away easily and the score line is not a correct reflection of the game we should have lost by a bigger margin,” said Ndlovu.
However, Ndlovu remains optimistic that his charges will be in the championship equation this season.
“Losing one game doesn’t mean that we cannot win the championship, you can lose four games and still win the championship so do not count us out of the race yet,” said Ndlovu.
Harare City: K Shangiwa, M Machazane, G Madhake, M Nyenye-Diro, M Ncube, L Muyambo, W Mukanga, T Tavengwa, K Musharu, M Vengesai (D Chimwemwe 73), T Tumba (W Manondo 74’)
Highlanders: A Sibanda, M Phiri, B Musaka (R Lunga), B Banda (M Sibanda 62), P Nyirenda C Siamalonga 78’), N Masuku, M Ndlovu, P Mudhuwa, T Ndlovu, T Makanda, P Dube. Sunday Mail