Tenax hold Highlanders

Highlanders ………………………0

Tenax ………………………………0

HIGHLANDERS FC coach Baltemar Brito was brave enough to go to the disappointed fans at the Soweto end of Barbourfields Stadium to apologise for a lethargic performance that saw his charges drawing 0-0 against Tenax SC.

While some fans applauded, quite a number displayed their displeasure at what they felt was a disappointing display coming a weekend after another lacklustre show against Bulawayo City that they won 0-1.

The fans were expectant but Bosso never showed up. It wasn’t a capacity crowd but those who came expected nothing short of victory.

With the chaos inside the Tenax SC camp and a glimpse at the form record, one would have expected Highlanders FC to run over the visitors but that was not to be.

Prior to this encounter, Tenax had gone on a six game losing streak. They parted ways with coach Simbarashe Maguravushe during the week and assistant coach Isaac Nengomasha took charge yesterday.

The sights of jubilation on the visitors bench at full-time was an indication of what the result meant to them.

“The boys played well. We wanted to frustrate them and we did just that. In the second half you could see even their fans were getting frustrated. We have a lot of positives from this game and this point is a point gained for us. I believe the boys did well today,” said Nengomasha.

Brito was of the view that the result was evidence of the competitive nature of the local league.

“We dropped two points but this shows that the league is competitive. There are no easy games in this league. We controlled the second half but the first half was bad. We dominated play but we could not score. They defended well. We have to give credit to Tenax because of the way they played. They are in the top flight league because they deserve it,” said Brito.

From the onset, the visitors pressed in a bid to force mistakes from the Highlanders defence that thrives on playing the ball from the back.

The move almost gifted Tenax early rewards as just after eight minutes, the visitors striker Theophilus Musiteyi was first to a misplaced Peter Muduhwa pass deep into the Highlanders half.

Musiteyi released a powerful effort from just outside the box which Ariel Sibanda tipped out for a corner. The resultant corner kick was cleared with ease by the defenders.

Bosso’s first real chance came through Devine Mhindirira with 14 minutes played. His low effort from the edge of the box was saved by Philip Makuni in goal for Tenax.

A minute later Bukhosi Sibanda also tried from a distance but failed to connect well with the ball. His effort went wide.

As has become the norm, when Bosso attack, it is Adrian Silla that drops more into the left-back role with Godfrey Makaruse probing forward.

With 18 minutes on the clock, Makaruse made a brilliant run on the left to deliver an inviting cross inside the box that had no takers.

Highlanders were forced to make an injury inspired substitution after 30 minutes of play.

Mbongeni Ndlovu found himself victim of a crude tackle from Musiteyi and was replaced by Pritchard Mphelele.

Silla saw his freekick from outside the box go wide, two minutes before the break. The sides went to break deadlocked.

Spotting Makuni was way off his line, Silla’s long range effort could not find the target mid-way into the second stanza.

Substitute Rahman Kutsanzira almost scored the winner at the end but his effort from the edge of the box went over.

Mudhuwa also had an effort cleared of the line in the closing stages of the match.

Teams

Highlanders FC: Ariel Sibanda, Devine Mhindirira, Lynoth Chikuhwa, Bukhosi Sibanda, Godfrey Makaruse, Andrew Mbeba (Rahman Kutsanzira 60 mins , Adrian Silla (Achford Faira 73 mins) , Peter Muduhwa, Darlington Mukuli, Mbongeni Ndlovu ( Pritchard Mphelele 32 mins)

Tenax: Philip Makuni, Dexter Marara, Pascal Shumbaishe, Lancelot Chakuamba, Carlos Musimwa, Edison Gavara ( Misheck Shonga 56 mins), Simon Munemero, Takunda Mapara, Aristotle Manyamba, Mtasa Panashe, Theophilus Musiteyi (Malvern Dumbura 76 minds)

Source: Chronicle