CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League debutants are rapidly claiming the giant killers tag after brewing another shocker when they edged 10-man Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Bulawayo Chiefs . . . .(1) 1
Chiefs beat the Bulawayo giants a week after another victory over Ngezi Platinum Stars at Luveve Stadium, having shocked FC Platinum at the same venue in April.
A back pass by Nigel Makumbe to Ariel Sibanda just after the half hour-mark cost Highlanders as the goalkeeper failed to control the ball under pressure from Farau Matare and he handled it outside the penalty box and got a straight red card from referee Mhaka Magare.
That was followed by a perfect execution by Gracious Muleya, who deftly glided the ball over the Highlanders defence wall beating substitute goalkeeper Prosper Matutu.
Bulawayo Chiefs has beaten all the three top teams in the first half of the season after handing Highlanders their third defeat of the season and the second at home.
Coach Madinda Ndlovu refused to criticise his goalkeeper saying there was nothing Sibanda could have done under the circumstances, but admitted the red card was the turning point of the game.
“We had a bad start to the game. We did not play to our expectations especially in the first 20 minutes. Our build-ups were not as accurate and that situation that gave them that goal. Their free-kick as well was well-taken,” Ndlovu said.
It was a game that had started with either side looking for an early goal but it was Chiefs who had clearer chances in the first half with Malvin Mkolo narrowly missing the target in the 22nd minute.
Sibanda came to Highlanders’ rescue four minutes later, making two brilliant saves from Matare and a Perfect Chikwende.
The second half belonged to Highlanders who came at Chiefs full throttle but could not get that equaliser. Bosso remain on 29 points after the defeat.
Chiefs coach Garthly Chipuka said their plan worked out well.
“Our strategy was to counter their possesional type of play and it worked for us and that is the reason we got that free kick. Beating the top three shows that we can compete in the topflight league,” Chipuka said. That win took them to 18 points.
Highlanders: A Sibanda (red card 31′), M Phiri, C Siamalonga, V Moyo (B Musaka 46′), P Muduhwa, A Silla, G Makaruse (P Matutu 33′), B Banda, M Sianchali, N Makumbe, G Nyoni
Bulawayo Chiefs: K Nyoni, S Nyahwa, M Mkolo, P Moyo, A Tandi, T Muzuva, G Muleya, F Matare (L Sithole 90+2′), L Ndlela (B Manhire 57′), P Chikwende, C Makamba (H Moyo 70′)