A FIRST-half strike by the youthful Adrian Silla gave Highlanders their first Castle Lager Premier Soccer League victory over ZPC Kariba and kept Bosso on top of the Castle Lager Premiership table.
ZPC Kariba had been Highlanders’ bogey side, winning three out of their four meetings and drawing the other one. Two of those victories were registered in Bulawayo where they beat Bosso 3-1 in 2014 and 1-0 last season.
However, the Kariba side’s dominance came to an end at Barbourfields yesterday when Silla’s 40th minute volley from inside the box beat goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya.
The build-up to the goal saw Benson Phiri’s cross from the right being tipped to the left by Mawaya and the ball fell to overlapping left-back Honest Moyo, who sent in a cross that was headed goalwards by Prince Dube.
The effort was cleared off the line by Lincoln Zvasiya and the ball fell to Silla who hit it with aplomb to give Bosso the lead. That goal injected life into Highlanders as they finished the first half strongly, with Erick Mudzingwa bringing the best out of Mawaya from a free-kick.
Bosso had a chance to go to the break with a two-goal cushion following a swift counter attack started by Dube who broke on the left and sent a through pass to Bruce Kangwa.
Kangwa chose to play the ball to Knox Mutizwa but the Bidvest Wits bound striker sold a dummy that yielded no result as ZPC Kariba defender Tawanda Nyamandwe cleared the ball to safety.
The second half saw the visitors coming back fired-up, with Zvasiya pushed from central defence to defensive midfield and the former Kaizer Chiefs’ defender imposed himself, taking control of midfield.
Munyaradzi Kanyarimwe almost beat Highlanders goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni in the 48th minute with a speculative cross from the left but the keeper parried the ball onto the crossbar. Just after the hour mark, Nyoni produced a brilliant save, stopping a close range effort from Limited Chikafa, who had been fed by Zvasiya.
A timely block by Highlanders captain Felix Chindungwe in the 83rd minute made sure Nyoni kept his third consecutive clean sheet, having been given the nod ahead of Ariel Sibanda who was on the bench.
ZPC Kariba coach Sunday Chidzambwa said it’s back to the drawing board for his team.
“We lost to a good side. We gave our best in the last 45 minutes and could have scored twice, but it wasn’t our day. There are still 19 games to play, so it’s game on,” said Chidzambwa.
His Highlanders counterpart Erol Akbay was happy despite being on the back foot for the better part of the second half.
“We forgot to play football in the second half and gave them too much space in midfield. But what is important is that we managed to win and I’m happy we got maximum points,” Akbay said.
Highlanders: N. Nyoni, B. Phiri, H. Moyo, P. Muduhwa, F. Chindungwe, E. Mudzingwa, S. Munawa (T. Ngulube, 68th min), A. Silla (B. Banda, 70th min), B. Kangwa, K. Mutizwa, P. Dube
ZPC Kariba: T. Mawaya, L. Zvasiya, S. Appiah, T. Nyamandwe, M. Kunyarimwe, T. Munyanduri, T. Mamvura (D. Chakupe, 68th min), G. Mangani (P. Kabwe, 52nd min), N. Tigere, L. Chikafa, T. Chitora (W. Mutasa, 78th min).