HOW MINE made history on Sunday when they completed a double over Bulawayo giants Highlanders in the sixth 2013 city Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) derby played before an appreciative crowd at Barbourfields Stadium.
The gold miners beat Bosso 1-0, courtesy of a solitary goal by Warren Dube in the 50th minute. How Mine had beaten Highlanders 2-1 in May.
But it was a historic victory for How Mine as Highlanders has not lost twice to the same team in the Bulawayo derbies since the turn of the millennium from the days of their rivalries with Zimbabwe Saints, AmaZulu and Railstars.
It was history for How Mine gaffer Philani “Beefy” Ncube who beat Highlanders for the first time as head coach since he came into top-flight football in 2008 with Njube Sundowns. That win dented Bosso’s title hopes as they now remain on 37 points, four points behind leaders Dynamos who dismissed city rivals Caps United 1-0 in the capital with a Oscar Machapa strike.
Most interestingly, Highlanders has not scored against the PSL newcomers this year and all the four goals that have been scored in the two derbies have come from former Bosso players.
Highlanders goal in their 1-2 defeat in May was an own goal by former player Hebert Dick who after banging past his own goalkeeper Notice Dube, scored for How Mine and another former Bosso player Nqobile Mpala got the winner.
While Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu admitted the loss had made the title chase difficult, Highlanders are still in the race, sitting on position three with 37 points, behind second-placed Harare City with 39 points and Dynamos on 41 points with still 27 points to fight for before the end of the season.
Bosso are yet to play with Dynamos at home and will travel to the capital for Harare City.
“It is unfortunate that we have given away three points and the race is slipping away from us,” Kaindu said after the match on Sunday. Next, Highlanders will face Triangle in the first round of the Mbada Diamonds Cup before taking on FC Platinum and Tripple B at home-games which could define their season.
Ncube now needs a win and a draw from nine matches to be assured of another dance in the PSL next season. This will all but confirm his position as he is on an acting capacity after taking over from Philani Mabhena.
How Mine leapt one rung up the ladder to position seven with 31 points.
“ It is a bonus that I have at last beaten a big team like Highlanders,” Beefy said.
The Green Machine, who lost to Dynamos are still in the race, sitting on five with 35 points after they were displaced by FC Platinum who dispatched struggling Monomotapa 2-0 at Mandava Stadium on Sunday.
Chicken Inn also got it right on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Black Rhinos at Luveve, courtesy of a Clement Matawu brace.
Shabanie Mine were held to a 1-1 draw by basement side Motor Action at Maglas Stadium while strugglers Tripple B and Hwange also played a 1-1 draw at Dulibadzimu.