HIGHLANDERS came from behind to book a place in the final of the Bob 90 Super Cup when they edged Harare City in an elimination match played before a good crowd at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Highlanders (1) 2
Harare City (1) 1
There was speculation before and during the match that the tie had turned into a friendly match, but addressing journalists after the match, Charles Mabika — one of the organisers of the match — allayed the fears saying Bosso would now meet Dynamos in the final on a date to be announced.
“It was never a friendly match. There were a few challenges here and there, but the team worked around the clock to overcome those challenges. We managed to get Zimbabweans from all walks of life to BF, but we still have to come back to you with the date for the final,” Mabika said.
Mabika, who ironically was the match commentator on national television, also said they were yet to announce the prize money for the tournament which is meant to celebrate the birthday of President Robert Mugabe, who turns 90 on February 21.
“We have not released the prize money yet. This is a fund-raising venture and the prize money will be announced in due course,” Mabika said.
City drew first blood five minutes before half time through Misheck Mburayi after a schoolboy blunder by veteran centre-back Innocent Mapuranga, who attempted a back header to goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya under attack from the visitors, but it was a weak back pass and Mburayi pounced on the ball and lobbed it over.
Bosso levelled the score line in added time in the first half as Peter “Rio” Moyo blasted the ball past Harare City goalkeeper Nomore John after Mthulisi Maphosa headed back into play a Milton Ncube free-kick after Kudakwashe Mahachi was brought down by City’s Munyaradzi Nyenye.
Rio’s blast from close range brought down Barbourfields Stadium as the Bosso fans got into song and dance.
Highlanders then got the winner through Milton Ncube in 73rd minute.
Ncube outstretched John after being set up by midfielder Valentine Ndaba, who came in for Charles Sibanda in the 57th minute with Gabriel Nyoni and breathed life into Bosso’s game, which had fizzled out as a result of a low work rate from Maphosa and Rio in the centre.
Bosso started the game without an out and out striker and assistant Mark Mathe said it was a strategy to congest the midfield and attack with Ncube, Sibanda, Mahachi and Rio, interchanging play and confusing the visitors.
Mathe said he was happy with Bosso’s performance, but said a lot still had to be done.
“It is still pre-season. There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of combination and cohesion. I wanted us to get hold of the midfield, but we were low on work rate. We are going to take it game by game,” Mathe said.
Harare City coach Bigboy Mawiwi said it was a good game, but was not happy with match officiating from Philani Ncube.
“It was a good game. Highlanders are a very good team. The officiating was not too good, but I am not going to comment much on that and we do not want to take anything away from Highlanders. I am happy and we will go and work on our grey areas,” Mawiwi said.
Highlanders’ biggest acquisition Mahachi, who will play for six months for the Bulawayo giants, was a thorn in the flesh for City, but had many of his effort saved by John.
Also invisible, but doing much of the donkey work was Simon Munawa in the centre while the visitors also displayed some beautiful game with Nathan Ziwini, Martin Vengesai, Mburayi and substitutes Crybet Muvuti and Talent Chawapuhwa.
M Diya, E Mudzingwa, B Kangwa, D Ndlovu, I Mapuranga, S Munawa, Maphosa (W Ndiweni 74th minute), C Sibanda (V Ndaba 57th minute), P Moyo (G Nyoni 57th minute), K Mahachi, M Ncube (M Dube 81st minute)
N John, M Nyenye, T Chiworeso, A Chivheya, D Kutyauripo (J Jam 46th minute), C Dickson, T Chimwemwe (T Chawapuhwa 46th minute), W Manondo (C Muvuti 46th minute), M Vengesai (O Mukuradare 79th minute) M Mburayi, N Ziwini