Highlanders keep pace

BULAWAYO - A first half goal by Masimba Mambare proved enough for Highlanders to collect maximum points over visiting Buffaloes in a one-sided Castle Premiership encounter yesterday.

The Bulawayo giants could have won the match by a rugby score line but a combination of poor finishing and bad luck saw them being restricted to a narrow win that ensured they kept pace with log leaders Dynamos.

Highlanders are now on 60 points and trail Dynamos by two points with 3 matches to go before the curtain comes down on the season.

Kelvin Kaindu’s charges dominated exchanges from the first whistle but failed to turn their dominance into goals until Mambare found the net on 12 minutes when he finished off a cross from Bruce Kangwa.

The build-up to the goal involved Bheki Ncube and impressive striker Cleopas Dube.

Dube was unlucky not to register his name on the score sheet as he had a couple of efforts that cannoned off the cross bar and back into play while on two other occasions he failed to beat the visitors’ keeper Hopeful Bere in one on one situations.

Mambare also wasted two glorious opportunities to make the game safe for Highlanders in the first half as Highlanders sought to add to their advantage when he failed to direct his header off Lawson Nkomo’s corner kicks on target.

On the half-hour mark it was Bheki’s turn to miss with a header and Highlanders nearly paid the price when Buffaloes winger Roy Mwenga broke away in a quick counter but the home side keeper Ariel Sibanda pulled off a spectacular save.

The tale of missed chances continued for Highlanders in the second half with man of the match Heritein Masuku playing a blinder in midfield to set up his strikers who failed to do justice to his impeccable service.

And the home side could have been left to rue all those missed chances had the Buffaloes attackers been sharper in front off goal in the dying stages of the game as they failed to finish off a good move with the Highlanders defence badly positioned.

After the match Highlanders coach Kaindu expressed his satisfaction at collecting maximum points but said his charges will have to work more on their finishing.

“It was a good game of football and I am glad that we won even though we could have won by a bigger margin had we been more accurate in front of goal,” Kaindu said.

On the other hand Buffaloes assistant coach Timothy Masachi said his side had been let down by a lapse in concentration that had allowed Highlanders to score. - Sakheleni Nxumalo

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