HomeSportFootballHIGHLANDERS BOUNCE BACK

HIGHLANDERS BOUNCE BACK

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Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Shabanie Mine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

FORTUNE MBELE
SPORTS REPORTER

PASCAL Manhanga scored his first goal for Highlanders after joining them in mid-season as the Bulawayo giants exorcised the Ascot Stadium curse by beating Shabanie Mine to cruise through to the quarter-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup yesterday.

An unmarked Manhanga poked the ball from inside the penalty box after being sent through by Bruce Kangwa with a cross from the left following a dead ball situation initiated by Joel Ngodzo in the 34th minute.

Bosso needed the solitary goal to get that reprieve after going for four league matches without a win, nor a goal. Head coach Kelvin Kaindu was ecstatic after the win.

“It’s a step forward going through in the first hurdle. Highlanders have a history of winning the Chibuku Cup. We would like to thank the sponsors for coming back with the competition as it shows they want to see football improve.

This is good for us; it brings back confidence to the team as we had gone for long without scoring and we scored a goal from a half chance. We still need to work on our finishing as we created a number of chances,” Kaindu said.

His counterpart at Shabanie Mine, John Phiri, said he was impressed with the way his boys played despite the loss. He said he was confident that the Zvishavane-based side would survive relegation.

“The performance was better. With a bit of luck, we could have equalised, but I am impressed. In the league I am sure we will survive relegation,” Phiri said.

From the outset, Shabanie Mine dominated play and enjoyed ball possession. They could have scored as early as the 11th minute through Godknows Murirwa, but he skied his effort from an Allen Tavarwisa cross.

Bosso, who depended more on the counterattack, could have scored in the 25th minute when midfielder Hillary Madzivanyika broke away from defenders Zvenyika Makonese and Rodney Mware, but he lost balance inside the box and Shabanie goalkeeper Victor Twaliki safely collected the ball. In the second half.

Tavarwisa, had his shot blocked by Dumisani Ndlovu while Highlanders’ Charles Sibanda missed a sitter in the 65th minute inside the box when he was sent through by an overlapping Kangwa in a move that involved Manhanga.

Shabanie Mine piled pressure towards the end of the match and Madzivanyika cleared off a Makonese header from substitute Tinashe Kabanda’s corner-kick with Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda a beaten man.

Two minutes later, another new Bosso mid-season acquisition, Kudzanai Machazane — who came in from the bench for Njabulo Ncube — out-jumped the Shabanie Mine defenders, but his header was punched away by Twaliki.

Teams
Highlanders: A Sibanda, E Mudzingwa, B Kangwa, D Ndlovu, I Mapuranga, F Chindungwe, P Manhanga, H Madzivanyika, N Ncube (K Machazane 70th minute), J Ngodzo (W Ndiweni 62nd minute), C Sibanda

Shabanie Mine: V Twaliki, S Muchabaiwa, T Majo, Z Makonese, R Mware, D Sibanda, W Kamundyariwa, G Murirwa (T Kabanda 71st minute), X Ncube, A Tavariswa, C Mesi (M Mageja 75th minute)

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