By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Yadah FC………. (1) 1
A Tafadzwa Mukahlera first-half goal was enough to end beleaguered Bulawayo giants Highlanders’ mini recovery as Yadah claimed a crucial victory in Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
Highlanders had a troubled start to the season, going for eight matches without registering a win.
Back-to-back wins over TelOne and ZPC Kariba had temporarily lifted Bosso out of the relegation zone.
Yadah, who have been struggling as well, had gone on a four-match winless streak before the Highlanders tie.
But the Walter Magaya-owned side had the luxury of missing a first half penalty through captain Ralph Matema on their way to the hard-fought win.
“It is a setback. We were supposed to win this game looking at where they are and where we are on the log table,” said Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu.
“A win was good, especially when we are building up to the ‘classico’ of Zimbabwean football next week. We were supposed to go into that game with a better
The under-fire Ndlovu was later involved in a scuffle with club supporters on his way out of the stadium before riot police broke up the melee.
Highlanders had early momentum in the match, creating a number of goal-scoring opportunities.
Prince Dube had a great chance to give the visitors the lead halfway through the opening half when his shot from a Ray Lunga cross inside the box sailed over
Yadah won a penalty in the 38th minute after Nqobizitha Masuku handled in the box and Ariel Sibanda made a clean catch of Matema’s tame penalty.
Two minutes later, the Highlanders defence went to sleep as Mukahlera’s first- time snap shot from an acute angle found the bottom corner.
Manuel Maleka provided the square ball from the right side.
Bosso came out stronger in the second half, with Lunga coming close twice in quick succession.
The Bulawayo giants continued on the offence while Yadah FC were content to defend the solitary goal.
Dube drew a brilliant save from the hosts’ goalkeeper Issah Ali after an hour of play and moments later, Cleopas Kapupurika had a glaring chance,but he headed
over the bar.
Yadah hung on for the precious points.
“It was one of the most difficult games we have played considering that Highlanders were good in all departments. We tried to match them and we managed to capitalise on the chance we got,” Yadah coach Genesis Mangombe said.
Yadah FC: I Ali, W Kalongonda, M Musiyakuvi, A Makopa, C Mutero, E Karembo, W Kamudyariwa, J Sibanda (M Chiwara 66’), R Matema, T Mukahlera(N Mhlanga
83’), M Maleka (I Sadiki 66’),
Highlanders: A Sibanda, B Banda (T Makanda 58’), C Kapupurika (B Sibanda 80’), R Lunga (M Sibanda 80’), N Masuku, A Mbeba, T Ndlovu, P Muduhwa, M Ndlovu, P Dube, D Mhindirira