HIGHLANDERS were held to a one all draw by Bulawayo Chiefs in a Chibuku Super Cup Group encounter at Barbourfields Stadium on Thursday.
Bosso, who are the Chibuku Super Cup holders, were thrust into the lead by Lynoth Chikuwa in the 32nd minute after he was beautifully set up by the country’s reigning Soccer Star of the Year Joel Ngodzo.
Bulawayo Chiefs, who are now under the guidance of Mark Mathe, an ex-Bosso, CAPS United and Harare City gaffer, got their equaliser in the 66th minute through the boot of their impressive captain Marlvin Mkolo.
Ten minutes later, Chiefs’ Farau Matare was left cursing himself when his close-range effort that had beat a diving Ariel Sibanda, hit the upright post to deny his side a second goal.
With two games to play in their pool, Bosso are now on eight points, two behind log leaders Chicken Inn who have already secured their quarterfinal berth.
Chiefs are on three points, two ahead of bottom placed Bulawayo City.
In a post-match interview, Bosso technical manager Mandla Mpofu reckoned: “As I had indicated during the course of the week, we had eight weeks of no activity and you come into this game with 13 days to prepare. Obviously, I was worried about our fitness levels but I can say we played well in the first half; the energy levels were high. On a good day, we could have gone two nil up in the first half but we couldn’t take our chances. In the second half, our opponents came back as a determined lot and on a good day they could have scored a second goal. That’s the nature of the game. I was very much impressed by our ball circulation and ball possession. We are managing it very well but we must get fitter. It’s still work in progress.“
Mathe, who took over from Thulani “Thuts” Sibanda, said the result went according to their plan.
“We always wanted to put Highlanders under pressure and I’m glad we did that so well. Unfortunately, we were let down by our forwards. In the second half we changed to a 1-4-4-2 formation which saw us put more pressure on the Highlanders centre backs Andrew Mbeba and Peter Muduhwa. It worked like a charm as we created lots of chances but the wrong choice of techniques let us down. We were over-elaborate at times,” said Mathe.