Innocent Kurira in Bulawayo
Chapungu …………… (1) 1
BULAWAYO giants Highlanders had to summon their fighting spirit to secure a point against a stubborn Chapungu outfit in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Barbourfields yesterday. Bosso had to come from a goal down to salvage a point in a game they dominated possession, but hardly troubled the Chapungu back line.
Chapungu went ahead in the 21st minute when alert attacking midfielder Bruno Mtigo intercepted a weak back pass by Peter Muduhwa intended for goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda and slotted home at the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked by the ’keeper.
Highlanders equalised in the 68th minute through midfielder Adrian Silla, who headed home a MacClive Phiri cross from the right to calm the nerves of Bosso’s increasingly restless faithful.
Bosso made a number of changes to the side that edged Bulawayo City 1-0 in mid-week by welcoming back captain Honest Moyo, while Newman Sianchali led the attack in place of Ozias Zibande and young defender Adrian Mbeba was also thrust into the heart of the defence partnering Muduhwa. Right-back Phiri started the game as a right winger in the absence of the injured Gabriel Nyoni.
Highlanders started the game strongly knocking the ball around, but failed to get behind the Chapungu defence and all their neat build-ups from the back came to nothing.
Godfrey Makaruse got Bosso’s first chance in the 10th minute when he wriggled free and fired a low shot that was saved by Chapungu goalkeeper Talbert Shumba. Five minutes later Sianchali made a great run on the counter, side stepped one defender to create an opening for himself, only to shoot straight into the hands of Shumba.
Bosso struggled to create any other clear cut chances and as the game wore on, the visitors gained confidence on the ball and started to string some neat passes of their own with Mtigo and Allan Tavarwisa seizing control of the midfield.
They were rewarded when their quick closing down of spaces forced Muduhwa to make a rush back-pass that was intercepted and scored by Mtigo.
Mtigo almost grabbed a brace in the 39th minute, only to crash his effort against the crossbar from just outside the box after being set up by veteran striker Philip Marufu.
Bosso then resorted to long range efforts after failing to breach the Chapung defence, with Makaruse, Silla and Ben Musaka all blazing their efforts over the bar as desperation crept into their game.
Bosso started the second half on the front foot and continued to enjoy better ball possession, with Chapungu looking to defend their one-goal lead.
Makaruse almost grabbed the equaliser through a header that went just wide from Phiri’s cross in the 53rd minute.
Skipper Moyo was stretchered off after a crude tackle by Maxwell Mavhuto, who escaped with a warning from referee Artwell Mazire.
Highlanders piled more pressure in search of a late winner after drawing level in the 68th minute, but their rhythm and momentum were constantly broken by Chapungu keeper Shumba, who kept feigning injury each time he made or attempted to make a save.
The referee’s final whistle was met with boos by the Bosso fans, who felt the match official had allowed Shumba to do his time wasting antics without reprimand.
Bosso coach Madinda Ndlovu said his charges need to learn to turn half chances into goals. “I think we gave away a soft goal because of a lapse in concentration at the back.