It was SHEER brilliance by midfielder Simon Munawa and poor marking by Flame Lily defenders that saw Highlanders earn three points after four successive defeats, when they scrapped past the prison officers’ side in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
HIGHLANDERS . . . . . . . (0)1
FLAME LILY . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Munawa deftly controlled a cross from right-back Peter Muduhwa inside the box in the 53rd minute and powered an overhead kick past Flame Lily goalkeeper Lloyd Majarira for Highlanders to get the maximum points, the first win for coach Amini Soma-Phiri, who lost 1-0 to Harare City in his first attempt since taking over from Bongani Mafu.
Technical manager Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu was happy with the result, saying his boys played well, the visitors were the better side in composure and fluidity, particularly in the first half although they could not get a goal.
It was a double over Flame Lily, whom they beat 3-0 in Harare in May.
Bosso remain stuck on position 10 with 29 points after the win, with Flame Lily perched on position 14.
Flame Lily’s James Mukondiwa had to go for an early shower after he was shown the red card in optional time for a second bookable offence by referee Thomas Masaa.
Mukondiwa was cautioned in the 24th minute and shown the second yellow card in injury time for rough play.
Zulu said the win was a relief for Highlanders, who last won on August 16 against How Mine at Barbourfields Stadium.
Yesterday was their seventh win in 23 matches.
“It’s a big relief when you are coming from four losses. The road to success is always under construction. The results [in the coming matches] will tell whether we have a better team now. We want to get maximum points from the seven games left and 43 points will be a better margin,” Zulu said.
Bosso lost four consecutive matches, after their 5-1 thumping of How Mine, losing to 2-1 to FC Platinum at home, 1-0 away to WhaWha in Gweru, 3-2 to Chicken Inn in a Bulawayo derby as well as 1-0 to Harare City, an unprecidented record.
Highlanders travel to Harare to face Caps United in their next game after the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals to be played tomorrow and Sunday.
Flame Lily coach, Backlfield Chivenga said they lost a match that they easily could have won.
“We lost 1-0 to a team that we could have beaten. We did everything that we could, but just one mistake, poor defending and Highlanders got a goal. The relegation fight is still on. What matters most is not the position, but the points that separate us,” Chivenga said.
Right-back and skipper Gift Phiri had a good game, while James Chivasa, Macmillan Chigara, Paradzai Chidawaya and Motion Muponda also troubled Bosso in middle of the park, but Flame Lily failed in getting the goals.
Highlanders also had a number of chances, with Obadiah Tarumbwa failing to connect a Gabriel Nyoni cross in the 13th minute.
Nyoni was also denied by goalkeeper Majarira in the 43rd and 77th minutes.
HIGHLANDERS: A Sibanda, S Munawa (O Tafira 87’), K Nadolo (E Muzanenhamo 60’), M Maphosa, O Tarumbwa, B Kangwa, F Chindungwe, E Mudzingwa, V Ndava (H Moyo 68’), G Nyoni, P Muduhwa
FLAME LILY: L Majarira, G Phiri, B Chayambuka, B Chandisaita, J Mukondiwa (red card 90+), T Huwa, P Chidawaya, V Mukudo, M Muponda (P Chinyama 73’), J Chivasa, M Chigara (M Demera 78’)