KUDA Mahachi scored a gem of a goal in his second match for Highlanders as they beat FC Platinum in a pre-season practice friendly match played at Barbourfields Stadium (BF) before a decent crowd.
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) . . . 1
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
FC Platinum, who were playing their seventh friendly match in pre-season, displayed better football than their hosts, knocking the ball in the centre at will as head coach Lloyd Mutasa fielded a second string team, while most of his senior players watched from the terraces.
The game belonged to the midfield quartet of Wisdom Mutasa, Livingstone Genti, Donald Ngoma and Walter Musona with Marshall Mudehwe playing wide on the left getting the better of the Bosso midfield of Mthulisi Maphosa, Joel “Josta” Ngodzo, Valentine Ndaba and Welcome Ndiweni.
But the visitors were blunt in attack and when Mahachi came in for Ndaba in the 46th minute, he breathed life into an otherwise dull encounter and was rewarded for his solo raids in the 62nd minute with a beautiful long-range shot that beat goalkeeper Talbert Shumba all systems out.
Highlanders’ stand-in coach Mark Mathe said he was happy that Bosso continued with their winning approach in pre-season after beating Harare City 2-1 last week at BF.
“It’s looking good because the winning mentality is still there and we are managing to change the game in the second half. We had to start Mahachi from the bench and he changed the game, but there is still room for improvement,” he said.
Highlanders’ mobility in the centre was questionable with Maphosa playing in front of the defenders and Ngodzo behind the strikers, and that could have changed with the latter going on the right and a faster Ndiweni deep in the centre.
Charles Sibanda and Mkhululi Dube did not get any supply upfront from the immobile centre.
Although FC Platinum played better football with superb fluidity, Mutasa admitted that his type of play lacked on the offensive and said it was why he had brought in Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube and Tarisai Rukanda.
Ncube had his penalty saved by Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda two minutes before half time after he was fouled inside the box by Felix Chindungwe.
“It was a good game and we saw what we wanted to see. We gave everyone a run, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Mutasa said.
“It is the first friendly game in which we have not scored, but we now have the players who want to fight and are ready to compete for the honours this year. The ratio of taking our chances is not proportionate to the way we are attacking and that is why we have brought in JB (Ncube) and Rukanda.”
Aaron Katebe, Daniel Vheremu, Qadir Amin, Kelvin Moyo and Obrey Chirwa watched from the terraces while the coach also benched Nelson Maziwisa, Ali Sadiki, Thabani Kamusoko and Stephen Sibanda.
Bosso also had Gabriel Nyoni, Milton Ncube, Peter “Rio” Moyo, Mahachi, Innocent Mapuranga and goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni coming from the bench.
In an earlier game, Bosso lost 2-1 to Division One side Black Boots in a team that featured Canadians Jean-Félix Lemieux and Philippe Barriault and Zvenyika Makonese, who has been trying his luck at Bosso.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, E Mudzingwa, K Banda, D Ndlovu (I Mapuranga 56th minute), F Chindungwe, M Maphosa, M Dube (G Nyoni 46th minute), J Ngodzo (P Moyo 46th minute), C Sibanda (M Ncube 69th minute), W Ndiweni, V Ndaba (K Mahachi 46th minute)
FC Platinum: T Shumba (F Tizayi 67th minute), R Muduviwa, E Moyo, G Bello, J Marufu, L Genti (S Shoko 53rd minute), W Mutasa (S Sibanda 53rd minute), M Mudehwe, N Ncube (T Rukanda 53rd minute), D Ngoma (N Maziwisa 59th minute), W Musona (A Sadiki 53rd minute)