BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
BULAWAYO giants Highlanders came within eight minutes of winning their first league match away before substitute John Zhuwawu scored a late equaliser for Herentals at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Bosso have struggled away from home, especially outside Bulawayo and are still looking for their first win on the road since they beat Triangle back in July 2018.
Bosso have also gone 17 matches without an away win in the league having last beaten Bulawayo Chiefs in September 2019 at their home ground, Barbourfields Stadium.
The match against Herentals was their 11 away match this season and they have failed to collect maximum points thus far.
But yesterday it looked like Amahlolanyama’s fortunes were about to change following a dominant start to the match, which saw them take a 16th-minute lead.
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A mix-up at the back between Herentals goalkeeper Takudzwa Chikosi and defender Wilmore Chimbetu gifted Lynoth Chikuhwa with an easy goal.
Bosso coach Baltemar Brito was pleased with the first-half performance and is optimistic for the future.
“For us, this was the best half we have had so far since we came and this means that the players are growing. We did not play a weak team but a strong and we gave them a lot of difficulties in the first half,” Brito told journalists.
“In the second half, they changed. They have a strong bench they put power, and they put speed and long balls.
“We are always repeating that it’s a process and we happy that we had a very good first half, now we need to do 50 minutes, 60 minutes, 70 minutes, 80 minutes and we will eventually win.”
Herentals created enough chances to have won the match.
Innocent Benza had a glorious opportunity to draw Herentals level in the first half, but blazed his effort over from six yards after he was picked out by Tafadzwa Jimu.
The hosts had a bright start to the second half as Jimu tested Ariel Sibanda with a header at the back post after Tino Benza cross barely three minutes after the restart.
Moments later Sibanda produced a stunning save to deny Blessing Majarira the leveller.
Zhuwawu, introduced in the 56th minute for club owne Benza, headed home the equaliser after a cross from man of the match Tino Benza.
Herentals had a late chance to kill off the game as Tino Benza drew a top save from Sibanda and Denzel Chimwemwe blazed over the rebound with the goal yawning in front of him.
Coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva felt the team had lost two points as they gave too much respect to their opponents. “This is two points lost for us. I just believe we were better than Highlanders in the second half. We started slowly with low confidence because of the name Highlanders until they realised that they were also on the same level.
“Unfortunately, we were missing chances and I think Denzel’s miss is the worst miss of the season and Tino Benza also missed another big chance,” he said.
Teams – Herentals: T Chikosi, W Chimbetu, Z Ruguchu ( C Mujuru 70′), B Majarira, W Kapumha, G Mukambi, T Jimu( A Mataranyika 56′), P Chama( D Chimwemwe 70′), Innocent Benza ( J Zhuwawu 56′) , B Majarira( D Marowa 56′), T Benza
Highlanders – A Sibanda, D Mhindirira ( C Ncube 56′), L Chikuwa, R Lunga(P Mpelele 56′), G Makaruse( M Mushore 56′), A Mbeba, A Silla, P Muduhwa, S Ngala ( B Sibanda 87′), D Mukuli( A Faira 67′), M Ndlovu