Bosso held

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CHAPUNGU United grabbed a point from Highlanders in a nail biting Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter at Ascot Stadium in Gweru yesterday.

Fortune Mbele
Sports Reporter

Chapungu United ……..0
Highlanders ……………..0

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It was a tale of wasted chances for both sides in a match that saw Highlanders welfare manager Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo being given marching orders after he protested referee Thomas Masaa’s decision to wave play-on when striker Gabriel Nyoni was brought down inside the penalty box on the stroke of half time.

Milton Ncube played a one-man show for Highlanders with several of his chances either saved by Chapungu goalkeeper Roy Mazingi or his efforts going wide.

Highlanders head coach Kelvin Kaindu, who arrived in the country just a few hours before the match, said he was happy with the team and believed something positive would come out in the next games. Bosso have gone for five games without a goal from pre-season.

“We are happy that we are creating a number of chances and the flow of the game was something promising.

“That we had a number of shots at goal is a positive sign,” Kaindu said after getting a point in the first league match of the season.

His counterpart John Nyikadzino was ecstatic after getting a point from Highlanders, but said his game plan had hinged on Chapungu collecting maximum points.

“Our game plan was to collect maximum points, but we missed a lot of chances.

“I am satisfied with the performance of the boys.

Highlanders’ aim was to defend and they succeeded in that mission. We would now be going back to the drawing board and working on the next match against Black Rhinos,” Nyikadzino said.

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Chapungu captain Calisto Maheya made a break as early as the second minute on the left, but his cross was intercepted by Highlanders goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya. In the ninth minute Bosso forward Nyoni shrugged off a challenge from Chapungu central defenders Blessed Mbavarira and Johnson Mabugu and packed a shot from close range, but Mazingi was equal to the task.

Outstanding Highlanders midfielder Ncube’s long-range curler in the 14th minute was also punched away by Mazingi, who was kept busy all afternoon.

Ncube was at it again 10 minutes later after he was sent through by Nyoni, but he blasted the ball over the bar and on the counter-attack, Chapungu’s Brighton Mugoni had his shot hitting the cross-bar with Diya a beaten man.

In the second half Chapungu played a more physical game using the advantage of the wind while Highlanders played short passes which worked for them in the build-ups, but the goals were not coming. Five minutes after the break, Charles Sibanda did well to dispossess defender Collen Kwaramba, but shot wide.

Hard-running Rodwell Mhlanga, whose right-flank Chapungu depended on, tried from afar in the 61st minute, but his effort was safely collected by Diya.

A breathtaking moment for Highlanders came in the 62nd minute when Diya made two spectacular saves from point-blank range by Hillary Mugoniwa and Mabugu.

Bosso could have got one with nine minutes to the full time whistle, but Ncube once again had his shot saved by an alert Mazingi after he was set up by substitute Cleopas “Balotelli” Dube.

Kuda Mahachi and Peter “Rio” Moyo came in the second half, but could not change the game..

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Teams
Chapungu:
R Mazingi, J Mabugu, B Mbavarira, C Kwaramba, N Murisa, H Mugoniwa, M Mavuto (G Phiri 87th minute), T Mwale (C Murisa 43rd minute), C Maheya (V Bangira 59th minute), B Mugoni, R Mhlanga

Highlanders:
M Diya, S Munawa, B Kangwa, D Ndlovu, I Mapuranga, E Mudzingwa, K Mutizwa, M Maphosa (P Moyo 73rd minute), G Nyoni (C Dube 70th minute), M Ncube, C Sibanda (K Mahachi 56th minute)