Yadah Stars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
HIGHLANDERS mentor Madinda Ndlovu said he could not recognise the team that was held to a goalless draw by Yadah Stars at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Striker Newman Sianchiali’s dismal showing in front of goal epitomised Bosso’s poor day on the park as he fluffed a number of chances.
“What I can say in a nutshell is that this is not the Highlanders I know. Coming from a defeat (1-2 against ZPC Kariba) last week I expected the boys to struggle. But in the first three minutes we had two or three good chances and I thought maybe I was wrong to expect us to struggle. We are lucky, very lucky to get a point because Yadah could have won this game. We have injuries of course but I don’t think that contributed to today’s (yesterday’s) game. It was a very bad day in office.”
Bosso were indeed lucky to go back to Bulawayo with a point as their former son Ralph Matema was a constant menace upfront for Yadah. Matema twice forced brilliant saves from Ariel Sibanda and the veteran striker says he was inspired to score against his former team.
“I was very much motivated, playing against Highlanders you don’t need anybody to tell you what it means. You just find yourself saying ‘it’s a big game and I need to be on point’. Ariel is a great goalie and he kept his team in the game,” said Matema.
His coach Thomas Ruzive was happy to collect a point after their 0-5 drubbing away to Ngezi last week.
“The guys showed determination considering we are coming from a heavy defeat. We didn’t convert our chances but I am content with how we played as well as the point we picked up,” said Ruzive.
Bosso had a bright start and should have taken the lead in the early exchanges, but their off-form striker Sianchiali failed to beat an outdrawn Yadah goalkeeper Stephen Chimusoro.
Sianchiali’s poor first-half performance continued when he made a heavy touch with the keeper to beat following a gaffe by Yadah’s burly defender Byron Madzokere.
The defender’s weak header back to the goalkeeper fell short but Sianchali was in no mood to score.
Yadah almost got the lead three minutes before the breather but Willard Kalongonda’s strike hit the post.
In the 58th minute Gabriel Nyoni made a fine run into the box but his shot was smothered by Chimusoro.
Matema almost punished his former team with a close range turn and volley but Sibanda parried it sublimely in the 75th minute.
In search of a winner Madinda Ndlovu moved right back McClive Phiri into central attack but Yadah held firm for a point they celebrated.
Yadah: S Chimusoro, W Kalongoda, W Chakanyuka ( Mapfumo 82nd), J Dzingai, A Makopa, B Madzokere, M Makopa, C Sekete(Sibanda 71st), L Mavunga (Murape 60th), M Chiwara, R Matema.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, C Siamalonga, H Moyo, M Phiri, B Banda, N Sianchali (T Lunga 73rd), P Musaka, G Makaruse (M Ndlovu 86th), A Mbeba (R Lunga 53rd) Kabila, P Muduhwa, G Nyoni.