BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
BLACK RHINOS…… (1) 2
HIGHLANDERS……. (0) 0
ARMY side Black Rhinos scored a goal in each half to kick start their Premier Soccer League season with a win over Bulawayo giants Highlanders at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Edgar Mhungu gave Rhinos a seventh minute lead heading home a freekick by Leeroy Murape.
Ironically, seven minutes into the second half Black Rhinos reproduced a carbon copy of the opener this time striker Tawanda Macheke, rising the highest nod home the second and final goal of the match.
It was a forgettable afternoon for Highlanders goalkeeper Future Sibanda, a last-minute replacement for Ariel Sibanda, who completely misjudged both crosses allowing the home side to capitalise.
Sibanda received news of a family bereavement earlier in the day and immediately left for Bulawayo prompting coach Mandla Mpofu to make a last-minute change.
The Highlanders defence also struggled in the absence of defender Andrew Mbeba, who suffered a concussion in the Chibuku Super Cup loss to FC Platinum in Ngezi last week.
“It’s a negative start and we are disappointed, but again last minute changes in the goalkeeping department could be a factor,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu feels that Bosso have enough games in the season to bounce back and compete for the league title
Highlanders were looking to bounce back from the Chibuku Cup disappointment, but found themselves trailing early in the match.
And after that they dominated possession, but failed to test the opposition goalkeeper. Black Rhinos were deserved winners and a constant threat each time they were in possession.
Rhinos coach Herbert Maruwa was pleased with the result.
“It’s a good start for us. The boys did very well, especially in executing their homework. We know Highlanders are not good at defending crosses so we made sure we capitalise on that,” Maruwa said.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Results & Fixtures
Today: Dynamos vs Yadah (National Sports Stadium), Bulawayo Chiefs vs Triangle United (Luveve Stadium), Manica Diamonds vs WhaWha (Sakubva Stadium).
Yesterday: FC Platinum 6-1 Tenax, ZPC Kariba 0-0 CAPS United, Chicken Inn 1-0 Cranborne Bullets, Black Rhinos 2-0 Highlanders; Ngezi Platinum Stars 5-0 Bulawayo City.
Friday: Harare City 0-1 Herentals.