Higlanders . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Triangle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
CHARLES Sibanda scored his 11th goal of the season as Highlanders scrapped past Triangle in a dull Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match that produced two red cards at Hartsfield Ground yesterday.
Bosso’s man-of-the-moment, Pasca Manhanga, was sent off nine minutes before the final whistle for a second bookable offence by referee Thembinkosi Sibanda after he moved off the wall before Triangle could take their free-kick.
He had earlier been cautioned for a deliberate handball in the 43rd minute.
Yesterday’s sending off means he will miss Sunday’s crunch league match against FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium.
Triangle’s Jimmy Tigere was also sent for an early shower in the 78th minute for a crude tackle on Highlanders substitute Kudzanai Machazane after he had been cautioned earlier for rough play on Joel Ngodzo in the 28th minute.
Despite dominating the first half, Highlanders were made to work hard for the three points that took them to position two on the log table on 35 points, one behind Dynamos who were held to a 1-1 draw by Hwange at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
It was Bosso’s first win in four league matches and a relieved coach Kelvin Kaindu said it was a difficult match.
“It was a difficult game, but we managed to score. What is important is the maximum points that we have collected,” he said.
“FC Platinum is another game. They are one of those sides that can just turn things around, but the championship is still a long way. Our mid-season signings are doing well. It was just unfortunate that Pasca was shown the red card.”
His counterpart Biggie Zuze said he was satisfied with his team’s performance, but was disappointed with the match officiating, claiming Sibanda was offside when he scored the solitary goal.
“The game was okay. It was a physical game and that goal by Highlanders was a clear offside,” he said.
“We regrouped in the second half and played well, but we were just disappointed we did not get anything from the game. We hope to get better in our next game.
But even if you are going to complain about the officiating, nothing will be done. There were so many injuries, but only one minute was added on. You can tell these things were planned.”
Sibanda casually pushed the ball past Triangle goalkeeper Ronald Mudimu after he was set up by Manhanga in a move that was initiated by Ngodzo from the centre.
Ngodzo, Manhanga and Hillary Madzivanyika had a good game in the middle of the park in the first half and one of their build-ups ended in a save by Mudimu from a Njabulo Ncube header in the 38th minute.
Triangle only came close to scoring in the 41st minute, but Tinei Chitora, who capitalised on a defensive fluff by Bosso right-back Eric Mudzingwa, skied his effort.
Honest Moyo, who has been out of action for a long time, replaced suspended Bruce Kangwa for Highlanders and had to be pulled out injured in the 66th minute making way for mid-season acquisition Webster Chingodza.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, E Mudzingwa, H Moyo (W Chingodza, 66), D Ndlovu, I Mapuranga, F Chindungwe, C Sibanda, J Ngodzo (M Maphosa, 62), N Ncube (K Machazane 55th minute), H Madzivanyika, P Manhanga (red card 81st minute)
Triangle: R Mudimu, C Rukwanhi, B Chimwamuchere (L Nhamo 32nd minute), J Tigere (red card 78th minute), J Dzingai, C Makoto, C Kamhapa (T Chipunza, 76), T Chitora, R Kawondera, G Ncube (F Kuswatuka, 58), N Meson