By Munyaradzi Madzokere
HIGHLANDERS fans barricaded the team bus and demanded the dismissal of coach Madinda Ndlovu at the end of the match following a drab draw with league debutants Mushowani at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
This could be Bosso’s worst start to the league season in a long time having amassed just three points in five matches.
Highlanders are yet to win a match this year after managing three draws and two defeats
The Bulawayo giants have also scored just two goals so far as the pressure mounts on Ndlovu, whose rebuilding project received plaudits last season.
But Ndlovu appeared unfazed by the reaction of the fans, who booed and hurled insults at him after the final whistle.
He blamed the team’s lacklustre performance on the lengthy pre-season strike that affected preparations.
“What has gone wrong with Highlanders to play differently from last season? It is because of that one aspect we didn’t do well. We did not do right in preparations and that is where football is played. You do right in your preparations you start off very well,” Ndlovu said in his post-match interview.
“We are trying to bring the players into not blaming themselves for what happened because maybe it was their right and we can’t crucify them for that. I will
take the blame because I am the coach, but I was there to train the team.
“And these are the players I was supposed to be training when they were not there. I am not pressured at all because we know that when these boys reach the
level we want they will give us the same type of football they produced last season.”
Mushowani, who picked a big point against champions FC Platinum about a week ago, should be cursing their luck after Kumbirai Kapikinyu missed a sitter coming face-to-face with Ariel Sibanda early in the match.
Bosso livewire winger Ray Lunga drew a top-drawer save from Hamilton Makainganwa five minutes before the break with a snap shot from the edge of the box destined for the roof of the net.
Prince Dube was caught napping after receiving a brilliant square ball in the box from Lunga on the stroke of halftime and he failed to connect.
Both teams failed to create any meaningful chances in the second half.
“We are always playing away from home, every team needs to play in front of its own supporters. I think playing away from home is not doing us any good,”
Mushowani coach Newman Mashipe said.
Meanwhile, in another Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match ZPC Kariba continued their impressive start to the season after registering a 2-1 win over Yadah
FC, which lifted them to second on the log standings.
Elsewhere, Black Rhinos beat Harare City 2-1 at Rufaro Stadium.
Mushowani Stars: H Makainganwa, C Muvuti, S Sunny, M Doley, E Mafirenyika, W Tafa, C Dzingayi, B Phiri, K Kapikinyu (D Kamanga, 81’), J Tulani, E Katema.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, C Siamalonga, C Kapupurika, R Lunga (B Banda 78’), B Musaka (A Silla, 54’), N Masuku, A Mbeba, R Mudhuwa, T Makanda, M Sibanda, P Dube.