Bosso problems persist

BULAWAYO - Out of sorts Highlanders extended their winless streak to seven league games when they were held to a goalless draw by bottom side Bantu Rovers in a Castle Lager Premiership match here yesterday.

Bosso were one of the teams tipped to fight for the title after a good first half of the season but everything has gone pear-shaped ever since coach Erol Akbay announced that he would not be renewing his contract at the end of the season.

The Bulawayo giants last won a match in July when they beat struggling Shabanie Mine in Zvishavane but since then it has all been doom and gloom.

Yesterday, Bosso failed to beat a Bantu Rovers side that had lost their last four league matches.

Akbay has been complaining about the blunt Highlanders strike force and yesterday the club’s scoring problem was laid bare after failing to score against a Tshintsha Guluva side that has conceded 52 goals in 26 matches.

The Dutchman was disappointed by the performance from his side and accused his players for “walking” instead of running on the pitch.

“We played ok in the first half but we walked too much with the ball,” Akbay bemoaned after the match.

“It was not high tempo football, we had a lot of energy for nothing because we were walking with the ball and if you do that you don’t score.”

Although the draw did nothing to give his side any hope of avoiding the drop, Bantu coach Methembe Ndlovu was happy with team’s display.

Rovers are bottom of the log with 13 points and would need a miracle from the remaining eight games if they are to survive the chop.

“I think overall the performance was satisfactory. I thought we were a little bit slow off the blocks at the start of the match. As the match progressed I think we were confident,” Ndlovu said.

“A satisfactory performance but there is a lot of improvement room for us I think.”

Highlanders dominated the proceedings in the early stages of the match. Bosso could have opened the scoring in the fifth minute but Ralph Matema’s header off a Gabriel Nyoni cross narrowly missed the target.

Bosso kept on piling the pressure and Brian Banda’s effort from inside the box was blocked back into play by Bantu Rovers defender Dumusani Ndlovu.

Highlanders had various other opportunities to score but their strikers let them down. They were making wrong decisions in the attacking third.

In the second half, Bosso tried in vain to get a goal but the Bantu defenders were so resolute as they protected their goal.

Bantu on their part never really got time to venture forward to launch any serious attacks as they were concentrating on frustrating their opponents by sitting deep.

Methembe Ndlovu had the audacity to introduce 15-year-old Sibusiso Moyo in the second half which was a clear sign that he did not feel threatened by the Bosso attacks.

The only meaningful chance Highlanders created was an overhead attempt by Ralph Matema midway through the half which went over the bar.

Teams

Highlanders: Nedrick Madeya, Charlton Siamalonga, Bukhosi Ncube, Adrain Silla (Tendai Ngulube 62min), Denzel Khumalo (Allan Gahadzikwa 53min), Brian Banda, Godfrey Makaruse, Peter Mudhuwa, Gabriel Nyoni, Benson Phiri, Ralph Matema.

Bantu Rovers: Wellington Muuya, Kudzaishe Dzingwe, Shadreck Nyahwa, Dumisani Ndlovu, Nyasha Garai, Tapiwa Kumbuyani, Pride Zivengwa (Zibusiso Moyo 71min), Nigel Papias, McCarthy Dube (Mbonisi Ncube 79min), Gladman Bharibhari (Brighton Ncube 65min), Remmington Masuku.

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