Mhandu sinks Bosso

Black Rhinos.............. (1) 1
Highlanders......................0

HARARE - Vincent Mhandu is slowly turning into Black Rhinos’ magical boy as each time he scores the army side has never dropped points in a Castle Lager Premiership tie.

And it was the same script here yesterday when his first half strike condemned Highlanders to their third straight defeat while ensuring Black Rhinos continued with their impressive run of form.

Yesterday’s win means, Black Rhinos are now unbeaten in their last nine matches managing five wins and four draws to take their tally to 28 points but remain sixth on the log table.

Crucially for Black Rhinos, they have narrowed the gap with the top four teams something their coach Herbert Maruwa believes will boost their chances of probably having a strong second half of the season.

“It was a good result especially coming from a break. This will boost the boys’ confidence to put pressure on teams that are above us,” Maruwa said in his post-match interview.

“Before the game, the gap between us and the top four teams was five but it’s now two points so we need to keep on winning.

“I think mentally the boys are getting there. It’s all about mental strength and going for nine matches without a defeat means the boys are working hard.”

Bosso coach Madinda Ndlovu bemoaned the early goal they conceded before going onto miss several scoring opportunities.

“I think we made a costly early defensive error at the back and that cost us. Also coming from the break, we were trying to put the boys together and it was a bit of a challenge,” Ndlovu said.

“But I’m glad though as we went into the second half of the game, we controlled most parts of the game. I think we attacked very well but still as I have been talking about in the first half of the season that we have a big challenge in our finishing and it showed again today.”

Both teams started the game rather cautiously but it was Highlanders who had the first real chance at goal after only five minutes when Newman Sianchali found himself face-to-face with Rhinos goalkeeper Ashley Rayners.

Sianchali, however, took long to shoot allowing the Rhinos defence to recover.

Bosso were, however, duly punished in the 12th minute when Mhandu put Rhinos ahead with an easy finish into an empty net after Highlanders goalkeeper Prosper Matutu had fumbled a Wellington Taderera effort from inside the box.

Powered by the goal Chauya Chipembere went on to take full control of the game keeping Bosso at bay but could not add to their tally.

In the second half, Bosso tried in vain to find an equaliser.

Nigel Makumbe’s well taken free kick from the left side narrowly missed the target with  Rayners well beaten.

Ndlovu then made a double substitute bringing in Gabriel Nyoni and Ozias Zibande for Godfrey Makaruse and Sianchali just after the hour mark.

The move almost paid off immediately when Nyoni found space inside the box only to be denied by impressive Rayners.

Teams:

Black Rhinos: Ashley Rayners, Tafadzwa Jaravani, Farai Banda, Bruce Homora, Shadreck Jimu, Donald Mudadi, Wonder Kapinda, Masimba Mambare (Edgar Chigiji 67m),
Wellington Taderera (Allan Gahadzikwa 75m), Vincent Mhandu (Augustine Mbare 80 min), Lot Chiunga

Highlanders: Prosper Matutu, Charlton Siamalonga, MacClive Phiri, Adrian Silla, Brian Banda, Newman Sianchali (Ozias Zibande 64m), Ben Musaka, Godfrey Makaruse (Gabriel Nyoni 64m), Tendai Ndlovu, Peter Mudhuwa, Nigel Makumbe

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