Highlanders beat City to storm into Mbada Cup final
From Kelvin mapasure in Zvishavane
Harare City . . . (2)2
Highlanders . . . (2)2
Highlanders won 5-3 0n penalties
Highlanders booked a place in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final for the first time in three years when they dismissed Harare City via a penalty shootout at Mandava yesterday.
Goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya emerged the hero of the day when he saved David Kutyauripo’s kick, converting Bosso’s fifth to trigger wild celebrations in the Bosso camp.
Diya had also scored from the spot during regulation time to level matters after Harare City had taken a 2-1 lead, courtesy of goals from man-of-the match Silas Songani and Crybert Muvuti while Bosso had scored through Bekhimpilo Ncube.
Kutyauripo’s miss came at the back of conversions by James Jam, Willard Kalongonda and defender Crispen Dickson for Harare City, while Mthulisi Maphosa, Ncube, Bruce Kangwa, Diya and Njabulo Ncube scored for Bosso.
The match, particularly in the first half, was played at a lung busting tempo with Songani causing all sorts of problems for Bosso, while striker Ncube proved a handful for Harare City defence.
Songani drew first blood with a well-taken free kick after 12 minutes but Bosso found the leveller through Bekhimpilo after a goalmouth scramble.
Muvuti, who had a good game in the middle, restored the sunshine city boys’ lead with a shot taken with the precision of a snooker player arrowed into the top corner from outside the box.
But he was guilty of fouling Simon Munawa in the penalty box in the 32nd minute and Diya took the responsibility.
Despite all the drama and excitement, Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu said the match did not live up to expectation.
“We are glad we are through but for me the match was not exciting,” said Kaindu. “We usually play better than this and since it was a clash of teams that are somewhere up in the log table, I thought the game would be better”
On the other hand, Harare City’s Bigboy Mawiwi blamed the loss on logistical problems and poor officiating.
“We were made to stay in Masvingo while Highlanders stayed in Zvishavane. It affected us and there were many other frustrations along the way. We came here and played well though and we are very much disappointed we lost in this manner. The referee could have done better”