HIGHLANDERS coach Bongani Mafu says the jeers by supporters after their 1-0 loss to Caps United on Sunday were a way of expressing themselves as they were not violent despite their second worst run in seven opening matches since 2010.
BY THANDIWE MOYO
Contrary to what Mafu said, supporters threw missiles at police officers inside and outside the stadium after the match and sang derogatory songs targeted at him.
At some point after the match police officers had to release dogs on supporters who had thronged the dressing rooms baying for the players and Mafu’s blood. They were, however, disbursed by the dozens of officers at the stadium.
The loss was the third for Highlanders after seven matches with three wins and one draw, collecting 10 points and the second home defeat in two weeks. It was the second consecutive home loss after they went down by the same scoreline to Chapungu.
“They are singing, they are happy for their team, but not happy that their team lost,” he said.
“That’s the way they can express themselves and I think I would do the same. We are Highlanders family and we are passionate about our team and anyone who thinks that’s wrong they have something to be looked at because those people are not fighting anyone they are just singing.”
He added: “They are just out to enjoy themselves unfortunately the team did not give them reason to be merry. I appreciate that they are not violent at all and I understand their sentiments.”
Mafu has been under pressure from the first day of the season after Bosso lost to ZPC Kariba 2-0 and from then on has not won convincingly both home and away.
He has played against Tsholotsho and won 1-0, and followed that with a 1-0 win over Hwange, a goalless draw against Buffaloes, lost 0-1 to Chapungu and bounced back beating Dongo Sawmills 1-0.
Mafu took over at Highlanders this season after a lackluster performance in their second half of the 2014 season when they were under caretaker coach Mark Mathe.
However, this is not Highlanders worst start in the last six seasons as in 2010 the club had only managed to accumulate nine points in seven games.
Highlanders were under the guidance of Mohamed Fathi that year which saw them finish the season on third position.
Fathi did not finish the season and they ended the 2010 season under Mkhuphali Masuku, who finished 2011 on position seven.
In 2011, Highlanders had collected 14 points after seven matches and when Zambian Kelvin Kaindu took over the team in 2012, they were on 19 points after the same number of games.
It was the same year that they broke Zimbabwe Saints unbeaten record of 22 games and they finished second on the log after Dynamos.
In 2013, after seven matches, Kaindu had lost one match and collected 15 points while in 2014 he had a number of draws and had won three times giving him 13 points.