Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
DESPITE shooting to the top of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League following a 1-0 win against Ngezi Platinum Stars on Sunday, Highlanders gaffer Erol Akbay is not content with his team’s performance.
Bosso played second fiddle to Ngezi in the first half before improving in the second half, which they capped with the winner from Simon Munawa.
Ngezi failed to turn their dominance into goals and hardly bothered Highlanders goalie Ariel Sibanda.
Bosso’s turnaround followed the second half introduction of Ralph Matema for Allen Gahadzikwa in the 62nd minute, a move Akbay said was meant to impose Highlanders’ high-tempo style.
“I’m happy that we managed to win despite that we did not play good football. I’m happy with the result, but if we are to keep on winning, we need to work on getting our high-tempo game right. We lacked it (high-tempo), but my players reacted well and that is why you saw us getting better as we approached the last stages of the game. However, I don’t want us to wait long to play good football; I want us to start well and finish with good football. We will work on our high-tempo during the week as we prepare for the Chapungu game,” said Akbay.
The return of Rahman Kutsanzira from injury seems to have reignited some life into Highlanders’ midfield, whose weak link has been Munawa.
However, Akbay has defended Munawa.
“You never know with Simon. He might be off for the better part of the game, but can spring a surprise and win you the game just like that. You have to understand him to get the best out of him,” Akbay said.
Another positive for Highlanders has been the telepathy between forward Rodrick Mutuma and young Prince Dube, who continues to shine with each game. The two might not have scored against Ngezi, but they kept the visitors’ defence on their toes.
Barring injuries, Dube’s is likely to continue to shine and he could turn out to be key in Highlanders’ championship quest.
“About the championship, it’s still early days. What we want is to keep winning our games. Maybe after the halfway mark we can start to think about the championship,” said Akbay.
Former champions Chicken Inn also bounced back to winning ways following a shock 0-1 home defeat to Black Rhinos last Thursday.
Chicken Inn beat Hwange 1-0 at the Colliery Stadium of Sunday, bringing relief to coach Rahman Gumbo, who had seen his charges put up a subdued performance against Black Rhinos.
At the Colliery, Gumbo made a number of changes to his starting line-up, bringing in defenders Ben Nyahunzvi and Guide Goddard for Teenage Hadebe and Passmore Bernard. Chris Samakweri, Thabani Goredema and Obidiah Tarumbwa, who were not in the starting line-up against Black Rhinos, were summoned for the Hwange encounter on Sunday.
On Saturday, Triangle United picked up their first victory of the season, beating Bulawayo City 2-1 at Barbourfields Stadium, while champions Caps United routed struggling Chapungu 4-0.