By Innocent Kurira
Highlanders finally remembered how to win at Barbourfields Stadium when they laboured to secure maximum points against visiting Chapungu in a Castle Lager Premiership match yesterday.
It was only Bosso’s fourth victory of the season.
The score line wasn’t a true reflection of the game, but for the Bulawayo giants, to contemplate a below par performance is a secondary matter. They have played better, but still lost or drew games this season.
Prince Dube scored the solitary goal in the 38th minute, converting from the penalty spot after impressive pint-sized winger Ray Lunga was hacked down inside box by Chapungu right-back Pinel Gumbo.
Referee Hardlife Ndazi’s decision to award Bosso a penalty did not go down well with the Chapungu players, who staged an eight-minute protest.
It took coach Rodwell Dhlakama to walk onto the pitch to calm down his players.
After the game, Dhlakama expressed his disappointment with the referee’s decision, which he felt changed the course of the game.
“It is difficult to comment on the game, the turning point was the penalty, which l thought was a soft call. We had a decent game, we could have won or drawn, but we lost. Now we go back to the drawing board and ensure that we soldier on,” said Dhlakama.
Bosso coach Mandla Mpofu was happy that his side had managed to grind a result.
“We are happy we managed to grind a result. A team, player and coach are judged by results. It was not an exciting win, but we are happy to get the three points,” he said.
The victory was Mpofu’s first set of three points since he took over from Madinda Ndlovu last month. The win took Bosso’s points tally to 20 and also ensured that they move into 11th position on the league table and also ended their three-game winless streak.
The game started off at a very low tempo, with both sides failing to take the early initiative. With the spotlight on Dube after his Warriors’ hat-trick, the tricky Lunga stole the show with his fancy footwork and deft runs.
Dube, however, had the first two close chances of the game coming his way, but he missed with the head on both occasions.
Denver Mukamba caused the Bosso central defensive pairing of Peter Muduhwa and Tendai Ndlovu problems. The second half saw Bosso failing to come to the party, which allowed Chapungu to take control of the game.
Bosso were sloppy in defence in the second half, perhaps with one eye already on the weekend game against in-form Black Rhinos.
Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Brian Banda (Adrian Silla 68th min), Ray Lunga, Nqobizitha Masuku, Andrew Mbeba, Tendai Ndlovu (Charltorn Siamalonga 61st min), Peter Muduhwa, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Tinashe Makanda (Denzel Khumalo 76th min), Prince Dube, Divine Mhindirira
Chapungu: Talbert Shumba, Piniel Gumbo, Hillary Mugoniwa, Blessed Mbavarira, Moendah Muchangami, Edmore Muzanenhamo, Brian Muzondiwa (Philip Marufu 55th min), Grecious Mleya (Bastos Chihowa 75th min), Patrick Khumbula, Denver Mukamba, Nigel Hunga (Ian Nyoni 59th min)
Highlanders FC 1-0 Chapungu FC, Telone FC 0-0 Chicken Inn FC. The Chronicle