Akbay fumes at Ascot

GWERU - Highlanders coach Erol Akbay was flabbergasted by his side’s poor display in the goal-less draw against struggling and bottom side Chapungu yesterday.

Chapungu had been the league’s whipping boys this early in the season as they have failed win in any of the six matches they had played before yesterday’s clash.

The Air Force of Zimbabwe-owned side also came into yesterday’s match on the back of a 4-0 thrashing by defending champions CAPS United.

However, the home side showed some steel as they restricted Bosso which left Akbay questioning his side’s desire to mount a serious title challenge.

“I feel very bad; we played very badly today,” the Dutchman said.

“I am not happy at all, if we play football like this there is no way we can win the championship. The players were playing like they have not been training.”

It was, however, a different story for Chapungu gaffer Tendai Chikuni who praised his charges for a job well done after picking up a valuable point.

“If you look at the way we played it was a totally different game altogether. It shows we are really progressing since we are still building,” Chikuni said.

“I am very impressed. You know getting a point when playing a team that is on top of the log, which is a good side on its own, it’s amazing.”

After a chastening defeat to Makepekepe last weekend, Chikuni made four changes to his side for Bosso.

Regular goalkeeper Roy Mazingi was dropped with Talbert Shumba coming in to do duty between the sticks.

In midfield, Muchangami Mdenda and Tineyi Chitora were given starting berths while forward Brighton Mugoni was also brought into the starting XI. 

The match was a cagey affair with both sides failing to create any clear scoring chances.

Roderick Mutuma had the first sight of goal for the visitors in the 28th minute when he forced a good save from Shumba with a shot from outside the box.

Ngoni Murisa could have put Chapungu ahead on the stroke of halftime when he beat Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda with a cross-cum-shot from the left but Tendai Ndlovu bailed out his team with a goal-line clearance.

In the second half, both coaches made attacking substitutions as they searched for a breakthrough.

Akbay summoned Prince Dube to replace Gabriel Nyoni while Chikuni brought in the veteran forward Philip Marufu for Allan Tavarwisa.

The changes, however, did not inspire life to the game as it remained a carbon copy of the first stanza.

Realising that the game was now inching towards a stalemate, Bosso went all out to find a sucker punch.

Simon Munawa was unlucky not to get a goal after his shot from the edge of the box brought the best out of Shumba.

A minute later, veteran striker Ralph Matema, who had just come in for Mutuma, missed the target by a few inches with a shot from inside the box.

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