It’s positive work in progress: Mafu

Highlanders . . . (0) 1
Chapungu . . . . . (1) 1

FORTUNE MBELE
SPORTS REPORTER

HIGHLANDERS head coach Bongani Mafu says he is happy with his boys and is certain of building a team that will compete well in the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season after playing a 1-1 draw in a friendly match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

A good crowd for a friendly match braved the drizzle to watch the match. Chapungu scored first in the 30th minute through a powerful header by veteran Tongani Magwendere off a Hillary Mugoniwa corner-kick.

The corner-kick had resulted from a save by Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda punching away a thunderbolt by Gift Phiri.

Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda

Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda

Bosso then equalised in the 72nd minute through substitute Ozias Zibande after Chapungu goalkeeper Roy Mazingi had made two spectacular saves after he was bombarded by Bruce Kangwa from the right and Thomas Chideu from the left.

Mafu was impressed, but said he still had some work to do before the season starts.

“It’s positive work in progress; we have good young players but we still have a lot to correct. It’s something that we can work on. I am very positive with what we are doing at the moment. My target for the season is play excellent football that is not beatable. If it’s possible to win the title then we can do it but, I cannot build a mountain,” Mafu said.

The Highlanders outfit had new faces in Julius Daudi, Marshal Machazane, Lindelani Ncube, Edmore Muzanenhamo, Chideu, Mlungisi Ncube, Tendai Ngulube and Ashton Mhlanga with senior players goalkeeper Sibanda, Felix Chindungwe, Simon Munawa, Kangwa and Arnold Ndiweni.

Douglas Sibanda, Knox Mutizwa, Godfrey Makaruse and Zibande came in from the bench while Mthulisi Maphosa, Erick Mudzingwa and King Nadolo were nursing injuries.

Highlanders had Honest Moyo, Innocent Mapuranga, Peter Muduhwa, Ryan Mabhena, Simba Sithole and Valentine Ndaba play in the reserve side. Douglas and Ngulube played in the reserves before coming in as substitutes in the main game.

Chapungu coach John Nyikadzino was happy, but disappointed by lack of discipline in his side which saw former Shabanie Mine defender Smart Muchabaiwa being shown the red card in the 35th minute for an unnecessary crude tackle on Ndiweni who was pulled out and replaced by Mutizwa in the 39th minute.

Mugoniwa was also sent off in added time for a second bookable offence for wasting time after he had been cautioned in the 46th minute for hacking down Kangwa.

“I am happy. This is almost a new team, but I am not happy with the behaviour of my players. I will have to work on discipline. But with the experience we gained last year I think we would do well,” Nyikadzino said.

He had new players in Muchabaiwa, Marvelous Dhikinya (Shabanie Mine), Mugoniwa (Monomotapa), Moenda Muchingani (Chrome Stars), Magwendere (Caps United), Tendai Mukambi (Chicken Inn), Nhlanhla Ncube (Black Mambas) and goalkeeper Talbert Shumba from FC Platinum.

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