BANTU FIELD 15 YEAR OLD STUDENT, HOLD HIGHLANDERS | Highlanders nightmare season went from bad to worse yesterday after they were held by basement side Bantu Rovers at Barbourfields Stadium, the latter fielding a 15-year-old student in their team.
Highlanders . . . . . .0
Bantu Rovers . . . . . 0
The fading Bulawayo giants have won just once in the second half of the season, and they produced a pathetic show yet again yesterday when they managed just one scoring opportunity against a Bantu side that has lost 19 of their 26 matches so far.
Their only chance arrived in the 19th minute when Denzel Khumalo’s header off an Adrian Silla cross was punched back into play by Tshintsha Guluva goalkeeper, Wellington Muuya.
More depressing is that the former champions struggled against a Bantu side, who fielded seven teenagers in the squad, and had the audacity of even introducing a 15-year-old Sikhulile High Form Two student, Sibusiso Moyo, who came in for Pride Zivengwa in the 71st minute as coach Methembe Ndlovu (pictured) saw that his opponents were posing no threat.
What would be even more disappointing to the Highlanders supporters was to hear their coach Erol Akbay saying in his post-match comments that his side played well.
“First half it was okay. We were holding onto the ball too much and not playing the high tempo game and if you do that you waste a lot of energy for nothing. We tried to play better in the second half, but if you cannot score you cannot win. Sometimes my players were making stupid decisions and that got me angry. It’s the same story like I have said before; we had good strikers back then than we have now. Every week, we have the same problem. We miss good strikers,” he said.
Highlanders remain 10th with 33 points, 20 behind log leaders Dynamos.
The Bantu Rovers teenagers knocked the ball around although they could not get the break. Ndlovu was impressed nonetheless.
“I would not like to focus too much on the result, but I think the performance was satisfactory. We were a little bit slow out of the blocks, but, as the game went we gained more confidence. It was a satisfactory performance, but with room for improvement. A draw was a fair result. We wish them (Highlanders) well for the rest of the season,” he said.
Bantu remain stuck at the bottom with a paltry 13 points.
Highlanders: N Madeya, B Ncube, C Siamalonga, B Phiri, P Muduhwa, A Silla (T Ngulube, 62′), D Khumalo (A Gahadzikwa, 53′), B Banda (Yves Ebabali, 79′), G Makaruse, G Nyoni, R Matema
Bantu Rovers: W Muuya, K Dzingwe, S Nyahwa, D Ndlovu, N Garai, T Kumbuyani, P Zivengwa (S Moyo, 71′), N Papias, M Dube, G Bharibhari (B Ncube, 65′), R Masuku