Ricky Zililo in BULAWAYO
Bulawayo City . . . . . . . . 0
Highlanders . . . . . . . . .(0) 1
A SUPERB 74th minute free-kick by Brian Banda enabled Highlanders to edge Bulawayo City and end Bosso’s three-match win-less run in the Castle Lager Premiership at Barbourfields yesterday.
Banda brilliantly curled his free-kick into the left top corner from an acute angle, beating City goalkeeper Takudzwa Ndoro, to give Highlanders the bragging rights and sink the municipal side deeper into the drop zone.
Highlanders had last won on May 1 when they beat Mutare City 1-0.
The victory saw Bosso clinging onto third position on the league table with 25 points from 13 games.
They trail log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars by 10 points.
For a side that is rebuilding, Highlanders’ coach Madinda Ndlovu is happy with the progress made by his players, although they were not at their best yesterday.
“It was a very difficult game. As I said earlier on, this derby came before we could make the necessary preparations.
“What made it difficult is that we were playing against the sons of Highlanders, who understand the culture of the club and what we are trying to do.
“But we managed the better part of the first half very well, we moved the ball very well and the last 15 minutes of the game they came back and looked as if they were going to get an equaliser.
“I think we had better luck today than Bulawayo City in that we utilised the set-piece and that made the difference. I’m happy we managed to go home with all three points, particularly looking at the fact that we’re going to play another game this weekend,” said Madinda.
Both sides had an almost similar approach to the game, preferring to start the ball from the back, as they tried to find openings.
City’s first half chance fell to Ishmael Wadi in the 41st minute when he dispossessed Charlton Siamalonga but he failed to beat Bosso keeper Ariel Sibanda. A few minutes before full-time, former Highlanders’ striker Nhlanhla Ndlovu had the best opportunity to equalise for City, but he chose to take another step inside the box allowing the Bosso back-line to recover.
City coach Amini Soma-Phiri said they deserved something from the game.
“That’s the game of football where you outplay your opponents and then the result is the opposite.
“What I’m happy about is that the boys are giving a fight. In the last two games that I have been in charge, we were playing for 65 to 75 minutes, but today we played up to the 90th minute.
“About the goal, I think it was a bit of luck. They just got that gift of a goal. The keeper failed to cover his space.