Resilient Harare City disturbed Highlanders’ Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title charge when they restricted the Bulawayo giants to a goalless draw at Rufaro yesterday.
Report by Michael Madyira
While Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu could be happy to maintain top spot and extend their undefeated run to 19 games, the result provided a cushion for their closest rivals Dynamos to close the gap.
If second-placed DeMbare win their three games in hand, starting with this afternoon’s blockbuster derby clash, they will be level with the leaders who now have 43 points.
City remained on 10th position with 24 points.
Soon after yesterday’s encounter, Kaindu ranted at the hosts’ employment of mind-games prior to and on match day.
On Friday, the Harare City Council denied Bosso access to practice at Rufaro and again delayed the visitors entry into the stadium by close to 30 minutes before the match yesterday.
“That was primitive behaviour which is only expected from people who come from the village,” said Kaindu.
Kaindu, who also claimed they found suspected juju substances in their dressing room, vowed to end the season without tasting defeat.
“I am happy that we maintained our unbeaten run although I am not satisfied with the way we played. But one thing I can declare in the name of my living God is that we will finish this season unbeaten.”
His opposite number, Bigboy Mawiwi, felt they deserved to win.
“I am definitely disappointed that we did not win. We failed to convert chances that came our way,” said Mawiwi. Having drawn one-all with Highlanders in the reverse fixture at Babourfields last month, City became the first side to escape the wrath of the Bosso mean machine this season.
City were always the more threatening side yesterday, starting as early as the ninth minute when William Kupera failed to finish at close range Nathan Ziwini’s headed effort connected from a Silas Songani free-kick.
Songani and Ziwini were forceful the entire first-half at one time forcing Bosso captain and defender Innocent Mapuranga to miss his own net by a whisker.
Referee Pedzisai Chadya turned down Highlanders’ penalty call when Ronald Sengu had brought down Bhekimpilo Ncube inside the box in the 26th minute.
Three minutes before half-time Masimba Mambare blasted over the bar Bruce Tshuma’s cross.
The second half saw City continuing their purposeful raids with Godfrey Nguwodzawo dispossessing Erick Mudzingwa in the 68th minute to force a desperate save from Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.
Ten minutes later Songani watched his powerful drive crash against the upright post.
From Gwanzura, Tatenda Kunaka reports that a first-half McDonald Motsi brace powered Blue Rangers to a 3-2 win over their relegation zone counterparts Hardbody.
David Temwanjira added the third goal for Rangers six minutes into the second half before Hardbody attempted a comeback with a 70th minute Jacob Muzokomba strike, while substitute Callisto Maheya scored seven minutes from time.
Harare City midfielder, Crybert Muvuti (left) and Highlanders winger, Masimba Mambare, tussle for possession during a Castle Lager Premiership match played at Rufaro on Saturday. The match ended goalless, with log leaders, Highlanders, extending their unbeaten run to 19 games.