Bosso rescue point from Ngezi

14 Apr, 2024 - 00:04 0 Views
Bosso rescue point from Ngezi

The Sunday Mail

Zimpapers Sports Hub

PACESETTERS Highlanders are guaranteed another week at the summit of the log after rescuing a point in the high-profile Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against champions Ngezi Platinum at Baobab Stadium yesterday.

Highlanders’ Lynoth Chikuhwa’s 57th minute penalty, following a handling offence inside the box, cancelled out a Walter Vuwa opener scored after just two minutes.

The one point apiece saw Highlanders open a four-point lead at the top ahead of FC Platinum, who also have the abandoned game against CAPS United to be resolved on April 23; and Simba Bhora, who will be in action this afternoon.

On the other hand, Ngezi Platinum dropped two places, down to 14th, as Manica Diamonds and Bikita Minerals won their respective matches and jumped over the struggling champions.

After the match, Ngezi Platinum Stars felt the penalty awarded to Highlanders was unfair and believed they were denied a late penalty deep in injury time.

“I thought we might have had one or two penalties, but it was not like that, maybe I am behind in terms of the laws of the game,” said Ngezi Platinum coach Takesure Chiragwi.

“We have assumptions when something happens inside the box, but the referee was close to the situation and he made a very right decision. But overall, the referee controlled the game very well.”

Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu felt his team was hard done by the decision in the build-up to the Ngezi Platinum goal.

“The goal that was given, our players lost focus as they tried to protest,” he said. “These are the issues that are happening day in, day out, in every game that is being played and coaches end up appearing before the disciplinary committee.

“I think those in charge of football should start disciplining both the coaches and the referees.”

Looking at the game, Kaindu said: “It was a very difficult game. We conceded early and we lost focus. I told the players during the break that this game needs our mental strength and character and I am happy with the response they gave in the second half. We came back stronger and we managed to get a goal.”

At Luveve Stadium in Bulawayo, Chicken Inn bounced back from last weekend’s defeat at the hands of Manica Diamonds with a convincing 2-0 victory over Green Fuel.

The two goals came through the boots of Brighton Makopa and Michael Charamba in the first half.

Soon after the first whistle, Makopa found the back of the net to put the home side in front, while Charamba sealed the scoring in the 36th minute.

At Sakubva Stadium in Mutare, corner kicks proved a killer punch that Bikita Minerals needed to outplay Bulawayo Chiefs 2-0.

The Premiership newcomers were full value of the maximum points as they dominated with their impressive passing game under Saul Chaminuka.

Bikita Minerals were duly rewarded for their efforts when they grabbed the lead 13 minutes into the match after Allen Gahadzikwa connected Chris Makambira’s corner kick.

Bulawayo Chiefs had a fine chance to restore parity in the 34th minute when Nkosilathi Ncube floated a beautiful cross into the box, but well-positioned Leeroy Ndlovu headed inches wide of target.

Instead, it was the Lithium Boys who extended their lead seven minutes later.

Just like in their first goal, Evans Katema had the easy task in placing the ball home after getting to the end of a few exchanges in the box following Makambira’s corner kick.

Bulawayo Chiefs coach Thulani Sibanda bemoaned his team’s failure to deal with set-pieces.

“We had a terrible first half and that is where they actually dominated the game,” he said.

“We conceded two goals from corner kicks and it all goes to show how we are failing to deal with set pieces.

“We have succumbed to similar goals before. However, I was a bit happy with the way we applied ourselves in the second half. We came back more determined, but somehow we failed to convert.”

His opposite number, Chaminuka, thanked his boys for a spirited performance.

“The three points are good for us after having lost two matches on the trot,” he said. “This is something positive from my boys and I really want to thank them for the good performance. It will help us move forward with confidence and hopefully maintain the winning formula.”

At Rufaro Stadium, Manica Diamonds made it two successive wins after beating struggling Herentals 2-1, with Thubelihle Jubani giving them the lead after 36 minutes, while Herentals equalised in the 61st minute through John Zhuwawo.

Farai Banda secured the points for Manica Diamonds in the 86th minute.

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