HIGHLANDERS recorded their fourth draw of the season on Sunday under the guidance of head coach Kelvin Kaindu against ZPC Kariba at Gwanzura Stadium.
Two seasons ago, Highlanders went unbeaten for 23 matches, but that counted for nothing as at the end of the season, as they had the highest number of draws – 11 – meaning 22 points were dropped. Eventually Bosso handed the league title to Dynamos.
Highlanders assistant coach Mark Mathe has convincingly won two league matches in Kaindu’s absence.
Kaindu had been completing a Uefa B course in the United Kingdom and finally graduated last week before his arrival in Harare at the weekend for the ZPC match.
In Kaindu’s presence, Bosso managed a 3-0 thumping of struggling Chiredzi away.
Bosso drew 0-0 with Chapungu in the season opening match before drawing 1-1 with Hwange and Chicken Inn at Barbourfields Stadium. They drew 1-1 with ZPC Kariba.
Mathe was in charge when Bosso thumped Shabanie 4-1 at home and the 4-0 drubbing of Caps United at the same venue.
The two were Mathe’s biggest wins of his career and showed he is capable of taking risks when he paired Ozias Zibande and Rahman Kutsanzira upfront.
Erick Mudzingwa was pushed to protect the defence while Welcome Ndiweni and Charles Sibanda completed the diamond formation. Kuda Mahachi had a free role, roaming between the wings and keeping the wing-backs guessing.
After Kutsanzira’s injury against Caps, Highlanders were left short for the ZPC match and had to give Joel Ngodzo his first start of the season ahead of the returning Milton Ncube, who could have added more bite in the attack.
Following the draw against ZPC Kariba, Bosso went third on the log table with 13 points from seven games, a point behind second-placed Buffaloes and log leaders Hwange.
In the season opening match Kaindu fielded Munyaradzi Diya, Simon Munawa, Bruce Kangwa, Dumisani Ndlovu, Innocent Mapuranga, Mudzingwa, Knox Mutizwa, Mthulisi Maphosa, Gabriel Nyoni, Ncube, and Sibanda also featured on the day.
Maphosa was replaced by Peter Moyo in the 73rd minute. Cleopas Dube came in for Nyoni in the 70th minute while Sibanda was replaced by Mahachi in the 56th minute.
Against Hwange, Kutsanzira was given the nod ahead of Mutizwa. Kutsanzira was replaced by Valentine Ndaba in the 69th minute while Moyo came in for Maphosa in the 42nd minute.
In the game against Chicken Inn, Kaindu opted for Welcome Ndiweni and Zibande to start ahead of Sibanda while Mutizwa was back in the starting 11 after missing the Hwange match.
The Zambian gaffer opted for Felix Chindungwe in defence, replacing Mapuranga. Diya was dropped after the 1-1 draw against Chicken Inn making way for Ariel Sibanda.
Chindungwe came in as a substitute for the injured Munawa against ZPC Kariba. Ngodzo made his first start for the season replacing Ncube with Dube coming in for Ndiweni in the 82nd minute.
In his first league game against Shabanie Mine Mathe fielded Diya, Munawa, Kangwa, Mapuranga, Ndlovu, Maphosa and Mudzingwa.
Mutizwa, Ncube, Mahachi and Sibanda were also thrown into the fray.
Kaindu was back against Chiredzi the following week only making one change from Mathe’s winning team – introducing Zibande ahead of Sibanda.
Against Caps United, Mathe chose Ariel dropping Diya while Kutsanzira who came in as a 56th minute substitute for Mutizwa against Chiredzi, also made it in the first 11.
From the teams that have been picked in the seven games, it seems like no player is guaranteed a starting jersey for the Bulawayo giants.