Highlanders 1-1 Greenfuel
VISIBLY dejected, wondering what kind of spell has been cast on them, Highlanders Football Club players immediately walked off the pitch at the final whistle of their home draw against Greenfuel Football Club at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Frustration could be seen even on Highlanders’ coaches after the match as gaffer Baltemar Brito had a high-pitched voice while his assistant Antonio Torres held his head down, a clear indication the five consecutive draws are weighing down on Bosso.
Sharing spoils against lowly-placed Greenfuel who are third from the bottom of the table wasn’t what even their fans anticipated and after Melikhaya Ncube gave Highlanders a half-hour mark lead from a freekick, one could feel an aura of belief that three points could be bagged.
Highlanders’ Washington Navaya (left) breaks away with the ball as Greenfuel’s Honest Moyo (right) and Raymond Uchena give chase during a Castle Premier Soccer League match played at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday. (Pic By Dennis Mudzamiri)
Ncube’s goal set emotions high as Bosso scored on its turf, having missed as many chances in so many games.
Since their last win registered last month — 1-0 against Hwange at Barbourfields Stadium — Highlanders went on to share spoils with Sheasham (away), Simba Bhora at home, Cranborne Bullets in Harare and on Africa Day against Dynamos.
Ncube, a midfielder who showed so much precision in the afternoon, stood behind the ball just outside the box and powered home a low drive that went past David Bizabani in goal for Green Fuel.
The visitors pulled one back in the 39th-minute courtesy of Nqobile Ndlovu who capitalised on what appeared to be a defensive mix-up between seasoned players Rahman Kutsanzira and Peter Mudhuwa, to strike home from inside the box.
Bosso have now dropped 10 points from a possible 15 points and Brito is a worried man.
“The number of points we have dropped worries me. If you look at the team, the last five performances we deserve to have collected more points,” said Brito, after the match.
“The league is very competitive. If you look at the games, you think this team will win but they draw or lose. At least we are in a good place on the table. We are doing a good job in our opinion. We just have to keep hoping the victories will come.”
Green Fuel coach Rodwell Dhlakama was happy to get a point on the road.
“We wanted three points from this game, but we got a point away from home which is massive for us. I think this will serve as a morale boost for our guys.
“I was happy with the performance, particularly in the first-half where we managed to contain their raids. We came here to get three points but this is a difficult pitch playing Highlanders at their home ground because their fans will be behind them,” said Dhlakama.
Being the home side, Bosso asserted their dominance in the early stages, with Calvin Chigonero controlling the ball outside the box 10 minutes into the game, but shot straight at the Greenfuel goal minder Bizabani.
Moments later Elshamer Farasi found himself with space inside the box, his low shot at goal again went straight to the keeper.
Chigonero broke loose just outside the centre circle, but seemed hesitant to attack the space ahead which allowed the visitors’ defender Raymond Uchena to recover and block the forward’s attempt at goal.
Greenfuel sat back for the better part of the game, absorbing pressure from their opponents with the aim being to catch Bosso on breaks.
Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Rahman Kutsanzira, Calvin Chigonero (Stanley Ngala, 54th minute), McKinnon Mushore, Godfrey Makaruse (Archford Faira, 79th minute), Elshamar Farasi, Mason Mushore (Brighton Manhire, 54th minute), Peter Mudhuwa, Mbongeni Ndlovu (Lynoth Chikuhwa, 46th minute), Washington Navaya, Melikhaya Ncube
Greenfuel: David Bizabani, MacClive Phiri, Tatenda Gora, Honest Moyo, Raymond Uchena, Chikengezha Gamu (Reginald Chinemo, 46th minute), Xolisani Moyo, Collins Dhuwa, Bukhosi Sibanda (Obey Mwerahari, 84th minute), Nqobile Ndlovu (Ishmael Lawe, 84th minute) , Ashford Nyamajiwa (Denzel Maouwa, 78th minute)