Chapungu . . . . . . . . . . (1) (1)
Highlanders . . . . . . . (1) (1)
BY MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE
BULAWAYO giants Highlanders’ bid for a strong finish in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League received a knock when they were forced to share spoils with hosts Chapungu at Ascot Stadium yesterday.
Bosso striker and the league’s leading marksman Knox Mutizwa cancelled Philip Marufu’s first half strike to ensure the stalemate.
The result means Chapungu have managed to collect four points from Highlanders this season, following their 1-0 triumph in the reverse fixture played in Bulawayo early this year.
For Tshilamoya, their mini-winning run, which saw them pick up six points in the last two matches, was halted and the result means they remain in the bottom half of the log table.
But Bosso head of technical department, Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu took positives from the match, though he felt his charges deserved maximum points.
“I am a little bit disappointed because we could have collected maximum points from this match,” he said.
“Our preparations were not up to scratch. Some of our players were on duty with the national team. Teenage Hadebe, Felix Chindungwe and some of our first team players were not available due to injury and we had to make some adjustments,” he said.
“But getting a point away from home at this stage of the season is a very good result and it’s a point gained for us.”
Chapungu head coach, John Nyikadzino was satisfied with the result, but felt his charges also deserved maximum points.
“It is unfortunate we conceded a penalty, but we could have won the match. We have managed to get four points from them and I want to laud the boys for a job well done,” he said.
“We want to finish in the top half of the standings and from this result our objective remains intact,” he said.
There was nothing much to write home about in the early stages of the match, with both sides hesitating to take the initiative in the final third.
The hosts surged ahead after 38 minutes of action, with Marufu tapping in a close-range feed from Nhlanhla Ncube.
Five minutes later, Bosso got a reprieve when they were awarded a spot kick after Mutizwa was hacked inside the box by William Ngonya.
Mutizwa stepped up to convert and increase his league tally to 12 goals.
Highlanders came into the second stanza with more purpose.
Rahman Kutsanzira’s header missed the target by a few inches after he was released by Valentine Ndaba early.
The match was temporarily halted in the 74th minute, as Bosso fans protested Mutizwa’s disallowed effort for an offside.
Two minutes before full-time, Roy Mazingi, in goal for Chapungu, denied Kutsanzira with a perfectly-timed acrobatic save.
Chapungu had a chance to win the match in stoppage time, but Rodwell Mhlanga’s effort hit the side net.