Boss thrash Chegutu Pirates

Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu felt the introduction of Ndlovu at halftime tilted the game to Bosso's favour.

HIGHLANDERS . . . . . . . . . . . (0)3

CHEGUTU PIRATES . . . . . . . . . . 0

A VINTAGE second-half display by Highlanders ensured that the Bulawayo giants stayed on top of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League table after subduing Chegutu Pirates at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

A tactical introduction of youngster Prince Ndlovu for Godfrey Makaruse was what the doctor ordered as Chegutu Pirates succumbed to the pressure with Bosso running riot in the second stanza.

The match kicked off with both teams showing their intentions and Highlanders had the first opportunity in the ninth minute when Andrew Mbeba's long range effort deceived the goalkeeper Arnold Munkuli, but the upright came to Chegutu Pirates’rescue.

Pirates then launched their own attack but Tinashe Mwafulirwa's cross intended for Cleopas Dube was mis-timed by the striker and Bosso defence recovered to clear.

Pirates were forced to make an injury-inspired substitution in the 21st minute when they pulled out right back Rodwell Mhlanga for Learnmore Chibaya.

The closest Pirates got to breaking the deadlock was in the 23rd minute when Gift Mwinga skinned his marker and his cut back was well-struck by Elisha Zulu, but Ariel Sibanda pulled out a brilliant save, plucking it out from the top corner.

In the 35th minute, Lynoth Chikuhwa for Bosso came up with a fine cross from the right which was poorly dealt with by Munkuli and McKinnon Mushore’s volley was cleared off the line.

Towards halftime, Chikuhwa’s header needed an acrobatic save from Munkuli to latch onto it as it appeared headed for the top corner.

For all their hard work in the first half, Pirates cancelled everything they did in the second-half as Bosso went on overdrive.

A few seconds after the resumption, Brighton Ncube's glancing header from a tantalising Chigumira cross beat Munkuli all systems out, as it nestled into the far corner.

A brilliant interchange of passes between Archiford Faira and substitute Prince Ndlovu in the 58th minute, resulted in the former coming face-to-face with Munkuli but the goalkeeper's right foot did just enough to deny the enterprising left back.

Ncube completed his brace in the 63rd minute when he bulldozed through a cluster of defenders and after a tussle of possession, he broke through and fired an angled strike that beat a diving Munkuli, much to the delight of the Bosso faithfuls.

In the 70th minute, the menacing Ndlovu broke free on the left and his curling effort drew the best out of Munkuli as he tipped it over the crossbar.

Ndlovu was back again to haunt Pirates on the left in the 88th minute when he broke free and delivered an inch perfect cross onto the path of Chikuhwa who made no mistake inside the 12-yard area.

It was all Highlanders in the closing minutes with substitutes Reason and Marvin Sibanda all coming close, as Bosso threatened to overrun their opponents.

Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu felt the introduction of Ndlovu at halftime tilted the game to Bosso's favour.

“Scoring three goals without conceding shows that we are improving with each game we are playing. Football is made up of two halves. We thought we would get an early goal in the first half but like most teams that come (to Barbourfields) they sit back. We were also a bit in hurry in the few chances we created in the first-half that made our game a bit difficult. We made one tactical change at halftime, and I think it changed our game,” said Kaindu.

Pirates coach, Emmanuel Day Gutu praised his opponents and opined that they gave them too much respect.

“The atmosphere was electric and intimidating. I think we gave Highlanders too much respect in the middle of the park and we paid dearly for that. Our inexperience was showcased. They really knocked the ball around well and we failed to manage the ball. They had a field day on the left flank, but we are still work in progress,” said Gutu.

Highlanders FC

A Sibanda, M Chigumira, D Mhindirira (R Sibanda 77), L Chikuhwa (B Ndlovu 90), M Mushore ( M Sibanda 77), G Makaruse (P Ndlovu 46), A Mbeba, P Muduhwa, A Faira, B Ncube, M Ncube.

Chegutu Pirates

A Munkuli, T Mwafukira, R Mhlanga (L Chibaya 22), M Meki, E Zulu, T Ditima, A Dzangai (E Gwawawa), G Mwinga (D Phiri), C Dube, R Chifura (T Mavhudzi), W Kamurai ( T Jika)


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