By Tadious Manyepo
HIGHLANDERS have put their 1-0 defeat to leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab on Saturday behind them and have shifted their focus to Mutare City who they host in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields tomorrow.
Terrence Dzvukamanja scored the goal that condemned the Bulawayo giants to their first loss of the season.
The Bulawayo giants slipped to third after this defeat as FC Platinum leapfrogged them after leaving it late to dismiss Mutare City 1-0 at Vhengere on the same day. And the Madinda Ndlovu-coached charges will have little time to review the Ngezi Platinum Stars’ match as they prepare for another tricky encounter against Mutare City at Barbourfields tomorrow as the Premier Soccer League have sought to utilise the Workers Day holiday to slot match day nine fixtures.
“We have since put the defeat behind us as we have already shifted our focus to our home game against Mutare City on Tuesday,” said Ndlovu.
“We cannot always complain about what has already happened. We are a team which is doing well and we can’t let this minor setback affect our rhythm.
“We are already targeting to do well against Mutare City. Mutare City are a good team with a very good coach who has a lot of impressive players at his disposal. We are approaching it as a must-win tie after this setback. The match will obviously be tough,”
Ndlovu took a thinly veiled swipe at Ngezi Platinum Stars for watering the pitch before Saturday’s match at Baobab.
While congratulating the Tonderai Ndiraya charges for the win which condemned his team to their first defeat of the season, Ndlovu ranted at the condition the Baobab pitch was in.
Bosso had to play with an unbranded kit as they were forced to set aside their NetOne branded jerseys after the set clashed with the home side’s.
“We were just fulfilling a fixture here. Our mission is to play football but the conditions were not conducive,” said Ndlovu.
“Worldwide, you cannot come and just water the pitch where human beings are going to play. “This is as far as I can say. We lost a game of football, it’s fine. It was a good goal they scored though we didn’t execute our goalkeeping principles well. But, see we played well, hitting the post twice. It was not our day, we accept that.
As panicky few fans, who were still in the terraces especially those housed in the VIP section including journalists, tried to find sanctuary in the teams’ changing rooms, after one overzealous cop, who is understood to be the officer-in-charge at Ngezi and only identified as Muchovo, grabbed and tussled with a female scribe, Yvonne Mangunda of Star FM leaving her with a deep cut on her right wrist.
Tomorrow: FC Platinum v Black Rhinos (Mandava); CAPS United v Chicken Inn (National Sports Stadium); ZPC Kariba v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Nyamhunga); Highlanders v Mutare City (Barbourfields).
Wednesday: Yadah v Shabanie (National Sports Stadium); Chapungu v Dynamos (Ascot); Harare City v Triangle (Rufaro); Bulawayo Chiefs v Herentals (Luveve); Bulawayo City v Nichrut (Barbourfields).