Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
Bulawayo City 1-0 Highlanders
A lethargic performance, further compounded by a zeal to win by Bulawayo City, condemned former city giants Highlanders to an embarrassing and painful loss in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday, leaving coach Mandla Mpofu hanging precariously to his job.
Mpofu, however, put on a brave face, telling the media at a post match media conference that he still believed he was the right man for the job.
“I still believe we will turn the corner. Lots of positives are happening and soon we will get it right. However, I am an employee and if the leadership decides to relieve me of my duties, I can’t have anything to say. I am a coach and I know these things happen,” said a clearly dejected Mpofu.
Mpofu and the rest of his backroom staff remained rooted to the bench well after the match shaking and holding their heads.
City, who seemed content with a share of the spoils, broke the Bosso faithfuls’ hearts in the 58th minute with a priceless goal from Melikhaya Ncube, who found himself unmarked inside the box and went for goal, beating captain and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.
Even Ncube seemed shocked that he had scored what would later be the winner.
To the neutrals, it was a goal deserved for City, who were clearly the better side offensively while Bosso looked content with just exchanging excellent passes which never threatened City.
In fact, Amahlolanyama went to the breather without a single shot on target, although here and there returnee Rahman Kutsanzira would break apart the City defence, but his final pass let him down.
Crowd darling Joel Ngodzo never came to the party and was completely outclassed by Bosso reject Dominic Jaricha and on occasions when he tried to run away from the energetic Jaricha, he rammed into Welcome Ndiweni, another former Highlanders player.
“A win was always going to come, kanti yithi esingahlala sidliwa kuphela. We knew we were playing against a big side and had to make proper tactical planning. Their strength is always in the midfield and our task was to diffuse that.
To us a point was still going to be good enough, but well we managed three points,” said an elated City gaffer Philani Beefy Ncube.
City featured five former Highlanders’ players, Vincent Moyo, Douglas Sibanda, Lewis Ncube, Jaricha and Ndiweni while Mgcini Sibanda was on the bench.
Bulawayo City: Bhekimpilo Ncube, Mpumelelo Bhebhe, Vincent Moyo, Douglas Sibanda, Lewis Ncube, Melikhaya Ncube, Dominic Jaricha, Crispen Machisi( Ntobeko Moyo 61st), Welcome Ndiweni, Nqobile Ndlovu, Wilfred Munorwei
Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Andrew Tandi, Rahman Kutsanzira, Devine Mhindirira (Washington Navaya 55th min), Nqobizitha Masuku, Andrew Mbeba, Adrian Silla, Joel Ngodzo (Bukhosi Ncube 55th min), Peter Muduwa, Stanley Ngala, Pritchard Mpelele( Godfrey Makarutse 67th min)
Article Source: The Chronicle