Shiny jewels for Bosso

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Sports Reporter

Highlanders redefined themselves by lifting the $130 000 Mbada Diamonds Cup when they dispatched city neighbours How Mine in a captivating derby final played at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

It was a defining moment for Highlanders who won their last major trophy in 2006, as they outclassed a disjointed How Mine to win the country’s richest football tournament.

Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube, voted the player of the tournament, scored the first goal in the 17th minute after receiving a cross from skipper Innocent Mapuranga which involved a miscue from in-form Masimba Mambare.

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Man-of-the match Peter “Rio” Moyo, who single-handedly tore apart How Mine’s midfield, beautifully placed the ball past the gold miners’ goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura off a Mambare cross from the right which also involved Tshiki.

The diminutive Mambare, won back the hearts of the Highlanders fans when he picked up a spot on the far post, four minutes after the break after being set up by left-back Bruce Kangwa to put the icing on the cake, dismissing How Mine, who had beaten them twice this year in the league.
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An elated Highlanders head coach Kelvin Kaindu said he was most delighted to win the Mbada Diamonds Cup, which has a $60 000 additional worth than the league he failed to wrest from Dynamos.

“It is far better winning the Mbada Diamonds Cup and we will keep on working hard and try to win the league next time. We dedicate this trophy to Jesus.

It was not easy beating How Mine. The players gave so much into the game. The road has not been easy,” Kaindu said.

He said the gem of a goal scored by Rio was part of the knowledge that he had acquired when he was away in the United Kingdom attending the Uefa B Licence coaching course.

It was all gloom and doom for How Mine who had beaten Bosso twice in the season and also bundled out big guns Dynamos and Caps United to reach the final of the tournament. Head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube was a disappointed man after the match.

“It is unfortunate we conceded two quick goals and then we collapsed. We failed to control the intensity of the game and we conceded two similar goals. I hope to meet them (Highlanders) in another final next season,” Ncube said.

How Mine lost it in midfield from the outset with Gilbert Banda playing defensive linkman and detached from his midfielder Menard Mupera and Thembani Masuku. The roving Rio had a field day and Highlanders’ money was on Mambare’s flank where the gold miners’ left-back Khumbulani Banda had a torrid time.

Similarly Warren Dube and Timothy January were found wanting on recovery and that gave Bosso dominance in the centre where there was Rio with Gabriel Nyoni, Milton Ncube and Tshiki troubling the How Mine defence.

There was wild celebration from the thousands of Highlanders fans who thronged Emagumeni. Tshiki walked away $1 500 richer for winning the player of the tournament while Moyo grabbed $500 for the player of the match.

Diya, the Highlanders goalkeeper was at his best shutting out How Mine’s moves.

How Mine’s solace was in getting the losing finalists’ prize money of $90 000 and $110 000 subsidy to participate in next year’s Caf Confederation Cup, as Bosso are still serving a ban from taking part in continental tournaments.