WILD scenes of jubilation engulfed Bulawayo after Highlanders beat How Mine to lift the Mbada Diamonds Cup at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
Highlanders FC -(2) 3
How Mine FC-0
How Mine, who had twice beaten Highlanders this season in the league, fell to goals from Njabulo Ncube (17th minute), Peter Moyo (26th minute) and Masimba Mambare’s strike four minutes into the second half.
The win, which atoned for Highlanders’ failure to win the championship that went to rivals Dynamos, saw Bosso smiling all the way to the bank with a cool US$130 000 and a trophy while man-of-the-match Peter Moyo collected with US$500.
Striker Ncube went home with US$1 500 after being voted as the player of the tournament. The win was Bosso’s first major silverware since the 2006 championship.
Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu, who has twice watched his side lose the championship to Dynamos, attributed the win to God.
“I am happy we won the match. I have a strong belief in Jesus Christ and my prayers have been answered. It had been a long time since Highlanders won a major trophy and I am happy that we have managed to win it this year. The players worked hard this season and it is only fair that they won this match,’ he said.
His counterpart Philani Ncube said he was proud of how his charges conducted themselves in the match.
“We were unlucky to concede two simple goals in the first half, but we played very well today. It is time to go back to the drawing board and prepare for competition in the Confederation Cup next year,” he said.
In a match in which almost all Highlanders players wore t-shirts written Prophet Blessing Chiza’s name, Bosso started the match strongly and could have got the lead in the second minute, but Ncube shot straight at How Mine goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura.
Chiza had a few weeks back prophesied that Highlanders would lift the country’s richest football cup.
The former Railstars striker was again guilty of missing a sitter in the 15th minute, but atoned for the earlier miss three minutes later when he got to the end of Innocent Mapuranga’s cross from the right.
With How Mine still wondering what had struck them, Moyo, full of running all afternoon, increased Highlanders’ lead in the 25th minute when he turned in Mambare’s cross to spark celebrations in the stadium.
Four minutes later, Njabulo Ncube thought he had grabbed the third goal, when he lobbed Mazarura only to be deemed offside by referee Rugare Kusosa.
Mambare however put the match beyond How Mine’s reach four minutes after resumption when he propelled in the third goal of the afternoon.
How Mine’s Nqobile Mpala had a chance to get a face saver for his side in the 63rd minute, but found goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya at his best.
Warren Dube and Timothy January of How Mine were also guilty of missing several chances, especially in the second half.