Star-studded Bosso fails to sparkle

BULAWAYO - Bulawayo giants Highlanders must have left their fans who watched the Bob90 Super Cup semi - final clash against Harare City at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday wondering if the many stars on their books will deliver.

Highlanders fielded in their starting line a team that included six Warriors players in goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, Bruce Kangwa, Peter “Rio” Moyo, Milton Ncube, Charles Sibanda and Kuda Mahachi but struggled to maintain their rhythm despite a promising start to the match.

Caretaker coach Mark Mathe, in his post-match interview, attributed Bosso’s performance to low fitness levels since the team is in pre-season.

“It still pre-season and there is still a lot of work to be done on the fitness side of things and also on cohesion and combinations, those are the areas that we need to work on,” Mathe said.

Highlanders started the match like a house on fire with an impressive passing game that saw their opponents chasing shadows in the first five minutes of the game.

This dominance quickly fizzled out before they had done any serious damage on the visitors’ goal and the hosts had to come back from a goal down to negotiate their passage into the final where they will meet bitter arch-rivals Dynamos.

Bosso fell behind on 40 minutes when their former striker Misheck Mburayi capitalized on a defensive blunder by Innocent Mapuranga to open the scoring.

Mburai latched on to a weak header by Mapuranga that was intended as a back pass to his keeper Diya, who was left clutching thin air after the visitors’ striker got to the ball first and lobbed it into an empty net.

Bosso equalised through Warriors linkman Moyo in first half optional time while their winner came from the boot of another Warriors player Milton Ncube in the second half.

Both goals were quality strikes but the second goal thrust new signing Valentine Ndaba into the spotlight with many Bosso fans already convinced that he could become an important player for their side.

Ndaba was a second half substitution after replacing Moyo in a double substitution that also saw speedy Gabriel Nyoni coming in for Sibanda.

The duo’s good movement on and off the ball saw Highlanders lifting up their game and taking control of proceedings culminating in Ndaba creating the winner for Ncube on 73 minutes with an intelligent cut back from the left flank.

While Highlanders may have huffed and puffed their way past City, the decision to start without a recognized out and out striker could be a sign that the team could be very unpredictable this season.

Bosso started with Sibanda and Ncube being their target man but with both players being the type of players who like to play in the missing striker role it was difficult for the Harare City defence to contain them as both players would ghost in and out of position to pick up the ball from deep in midfield.

And after this style failed to pay dividends. Highlanders switched tack and introduced  Ndaba and Nyoni with Nyoni displaying a great deal of urgency that had City defender Arnold Chivheya working overtime while Ndaba was full of tricks.

City coach Bigboy Mawiwi admitted that Highlanders had outplayed his side although he was of the opinion that poor match officiating had played a part in his team’s defeat.

Comments (4)

This is not a objective report. It's the first game of the season, did you really expect the team to click straight away particularly with new players? Come on now. If you were an astute observer of the game you would know this. Stop the negativity against Byo teams, shame on you.

mukwerekwere - 18 February 2014

Mukwerekwere its not about Bulawayo teams its about Zimbabwe's so called big teams, Boss sneaked in but playing badly, DemBare sneaked in but was playing badly and if this is what we are going to watch this season then I will extend my sabbatical leave from Zimbabwe soccer.

Maita Manyuka - 18 February 2014

I looked at what we call stars in Zimbabwe. They cannot even beat a boozers team made of yesteryear stars. Ask Dembare or Boss or Caps to play a team with the likes of Madhinda, Kaitano,Chunga, Gorowa, Munemo, Zuze, Takawira, Doctor, Zenzo, Mutasa, Tulani Biya, even now and they will lose hands down.

Maita Manyuka - 18 February 2014

These teams are from off season. How can they click at one goal? Come on guys. Even this reporter is also biased. I don't understand his reporting. He starts with a negative comment and up with a positive comment on Bosso. Couches are still accessing their players, trying to come up with good combinations and good first eleven hence you expect the team to score dozens of goals. Mind you these new player has to adjust to the Bosso type of play. They can not click over night and produce results. The fact that the team scored two goals is sign that its likely to be the team of the moment. Even Spain national team which is full of highly rated players was beaten by Brazilians. Don't discourage Bosso, Dembare or How Mine, I beg you.

Sibbs - 20 February 2014

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