HIGHLANDERS goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda’s stoppage time boob gave Chicken Inn all three points and condemned Bosso coach Bongani Mafu to deep trouble as his future at the club could be decided by this performance.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Highlanders . . . . . (1) 2
Chicken Inn . . . . . . .(1) 3
His fate is likely to be decided today when he meets the club executive.
The Bosso executive went public with Mafu’s ultimatum, that if the team lost to Chicken Inn they would fire him.
It was Highlanders’ third consecutive defeat after losing 1-2 to FC Platinum at BF, 0-1 to WhaWha at Ascot Stadium and to Chicken Inn yesterday dumping Bosso to an unfamiliar position 10 on the log table with 25 points.
Chicken Inn maintained its lead at the top with 43 points with nine matches left.
Just as the sense of stalemate was beginning to settle in, Sibanda spilled Danny “Deco” Phiri’s free kick for striker Michelle Katsvairo to punish him for that blunder.
Bhekimpilo Ncube scored the opener for Chicken Inn in the 24th minute from a Brian Mbiriri cross but Highlanders quickly equalized two minutes later through a gem of a goal by midfielder King Nadolo.
The first half was however a dull affair but Chicken Inn came into the second half a more rejuvenated side and bombarded Highlanders’ goal area and Katsvairo soon thrust his team ahead after he controlled the ball unmarked outside Bosso’s penalty box, and beat Sibanda.
The ambience of gloom had set in at BF on the Highlanders fans once again as they started chanting anti-Mafu slogans but Bruce Kangwa rode a Lawrence Mhlanga tackle and before firing past an advancing Chipezeze on 73 minutes.
“We gave away soft goals. The goals that we gave away are incredible. If we concede such goals, we cannot survive. We did not defend well and we need to work hard,” said Mafu after the match.
On the other hand, Joey Antipas was full of joy.
“We got vital points to keep us going. It was a good derby. I would like to give credit to Highlanders for fighting back and to my boys for the fighting spirit to the end. The title is still a dog chase with Dynamos, FC Platinum and Triangle chasing,” Antipas said.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, P Muduhwa, T Hadebe, E Mudzingwa, F Chindungwe, D Sibanda, G Nyoni (T Simango 86’), K Nadolo, O Tarumbwa, B Kangwa, K Nadolo
Chicken Inn: E Chipezeze, B Mbiriri, L Mhlanga, P Bernard, B Ncube (T Goredema 82’), C Matawu, M Jackson, T Kutinyu (G Majika 46’), D Phiri, E Chirambadare (I Lawe 81’), M Katsvairo