Tsholotsho dent Bosso's title hopes

HARARE - Tsholotsho yesterday produced a sensational performance to derail Highlanders’ chances of winning the Castle Lager Premiership title when they defeated the Bulawayo giants 2-1 at Barbourfields Stadium.

There was drama before the match when the entire Tsholotsho delegation paid their way into the stadium avoiding using the usual entry point designated for the teams.

Tsholotsho, who are fighting tooth and nail to remain in the Premiership, are deep in the relegation, went on to win the match courtesy of a brace by Nixon Gama.

Bosso, who had won seven consecutive Premiership matches prior to yesterday’s game, failed to rise to the occasion.

They were otherwise wasteful in front of goal as their players ran out of ideas in the final third.

Simon Munawa could have opened the scores for the home side in the third minute but his effort from inside the box went over the bar.

Highlanders’ inform play-marker Rahman Kutsanzira also had his effort from the edge of the box saved by Tsholotsho keeper Nickel Marichi.

Gama finally broke the deadlock 17 minutes into the match when he got to the end of an inch-perfect cross from captain Nkosilathi Moyo on the left side before tapping home with Highlanders defenders nowhere near action.

Bosso tried in vain to come back into the game in the first half and on two occasions striker Prince Dube had his efforts saved by Marichi.

Gama completed his brace five minutes after the break when he connected with a cross from Rodrick Mufudze to beat Bosso keeper Ariel Sibanda for the second time.

Highlanders upped up their game after the introduction of veteran forward Ralph Matema and Godfrey Makaruse for Benson Phiri and Gabriel Nyoni.

Matema gave Bosso some hope when he scored in the 59th minute when he curled past Marichi following some good work by Kutsanzira, Erick Mudzingwa and Dube.

Bosso kept piling on the pressure and Mudzingwa could not believe his eyes 65 minutes into the match when his header from a Dube corner kick hit the crossbar.

As time went on Highlanders, started to panic and they were hurrying their efforts in front of goal and on many occasions indecision in the attacking third was their worst enemy.

After the match Highlanders coach Erol Akbay was disappointed by the way his team defended and also the chances they missed.

“It was a good game from both teams. Same old story coming in again, we are not scoring. We are losing concentration, we made two stupid mistakes and they scored and we are just not scoring. After this, I think championship is over for us,” Akbay said.

Tsholotsho assistant coach Farai Tawachera said: “It was a difficult match. We had planned very well for this match. Our game plan worked. We have watched Highlanders play so many times and realised they are poor in defending crosses and we scored from crosses.

“As for relegation survival, it is still game on. We will work hard and see what happens in our last two matches.”

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