HIGHLANDERS LOSE AGAIN | Tsholotsho picked up their first set of maximum points in the 2017 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, when they edged pitiful Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
It was Tsholotsho’s first win of the season, as the fading Bulawayo giants suffered their third defeat in five matches in the second half of the season, with only one win and a draw, much to the chagrin of their fans in the Soweto stand, who chanted slogans bidding farewell to coach, Erol Akbay, who has since indicated he will not be renewing his contract at the end of the season.
Lucky Vundla got the winner for Tsholotsho a minute into the first half optional time after he was sent through by Lucky Nyathi, who dribbled past Erick Mudzingwa to blast the ball past goalkeeper, Ariel Sibanda from inside the penalty box.
Tsholotsho coach, Darlington Dodo was ecstatic, but remained level-headed, saying they was no need to be carried away by the victory.
“From the way we played in the last four games, I think we have been playing better and the break helped us. I could see that the boys had the energy and the zeal and playing against Highlanders was a motivator on its own. We are very happy, but it’s bad that it is our first win of the season and we need not be over-excited,” he said.
The Highlanders’ fans started trickling out of the stadium, with five minutes of optional time added, as there seemed no hope of getting back into the tie.
Despite the defeat, Akbay surprisingly contends that his boys are playing well, but lacking the killer-punch upfront.
“We created a few chances in the first half, but we have no strikers, who can score. I am not disappointed about how we played except for the final third. We have to try and find a solution. We are not losing hope. I am not a coach who easily gives up,” he said.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, E Mudzingwa, H Moyo (R Lunga 90+2’), B Phiri, P Muduhwa, T Ngulube, G Makaruse, S Munawa, R Matema (N Ndlovu 84’), R Kutsanzira, K Nadolo (A Gahadzikwa 74’)
Tsholotsho: M Chang, X Ndlovu, M Phiri, T Nyabinde, A Chaka, T Tavengwa, M Mushonga (N Gama 86’), E Kalungu (A Ncube 53’), L Vundla (S Mhlanga 68’), L Nyathi, N Mpala