Ricky Zililo in Bulawayo
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
Yadah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(1) 1
HIGHLANDERS midfielder Denzel Khumalo capped a fine performance with a gem of a match-winning goal, which deserved to be captured for the archives, as Bosso piled relegation worries on Yadah at Barbourfields yesterday.
Khumalo, who is repaying coach Madinda Ndlovu’s faith in his abilities, having been given a chance to prove himself when Bosso lost 1-2 to Ngezi at the beginning of the month, is proving to be a find for the Bulawayo giants.
Yesterday Khumalo bossed the midfield in the absence of rested regular midfielders Brian Banda, Nigel Makumbe and Adrian Silla.
The classic left-foot half-volley on the turn by Khumalo, which left Highlanders’ fans in awe, was scored in the 67th minute about 20m from the goal.
The midfielder chest controlled a cross from Mbongeni Ndlovu on the left side and smashed a half-volley past a diving Yadah goalkeeper Steven Chimusoro.
The win moved Bosso one place up the table into sixth with 42 points; dislodging Harare City, who were hammered 3-0 by Nichrut.
Highlanders have a game in hand and are now six points behind Triangle United.
Ndlovu made eight changes to the team that beat Yadah 2-1 in the Chibuku Super Cup last Sunday.
Only defender Peter Muduhwa, Khumalo and striker Tafadzwa Sibanda were retained from last Sunday’s win, while the rest were given time off.
Newman Sianchali fired Bosso into a 10th minute lead, heading in a perfect delivery from Honest Moyo.
Bosso took the lead when both teams were down to 10 men, as striker Sibanda and Yadah Central defender Ariel Makopa were out receiving treatment following a clash of heads.
After taking the lead, Highlanders began dictating the pace, but failed to penetrate Yadah’s rearguard.
Bosso winger Godfrey Makaruse and defensive midfielder Ben Musaka had long range attempts easily dealt with by Yadah keeper Chimusoro.
Yadah were patient with their build-ups, absorbing Highlanders’ pressure as they sought to hit Bosso on quick breaks.
From one of their counter attacks, Yadah won a corner kick and former Highlanders’ striker Ralph Matema punished his former teammates for sloppy defending by heading in the equaliser in the 41st minute.