BULAWAYO – Highlanders kept Castle Premiership log leaders Harare City within touching distance after their victory over coal miners Hwange last Sunday.
The victory brought to an end a winless streak that had seen the Bulawayo giants going for four games without collecting maximum points.
And while the manner in which Highlanders overcame Hwange was not overly convincing it brought a sigh of relief to Bosso’s Zambian coach Kelvin Kaindu.
“The victory has come at the right time and what was important was to collect maximum points,” Kaindu said.
“This game is now in the past and we have to focus on our next game against Black Mambas and we need to keep collecting maximum points.”
Highlanders are on 34 points and trail City by three points.
Their multitudes of fans will be hoping that the Hwange victory will be the tonic that the team needed to mount a serious title onslaught when the league resumes next month after the elections.
The passing game that Highlanders have become synonymous for did not come to the fore last Sunday but there were some positives in their play.
Simon Munawa continued to shine in central midfield and continued from where he left off in Bosso’s encounter against city rivals Chicken Inn.
Kaindu seems to have solved his central midfield problems by deploying the former AmaZulu and Zimbabwe Saints linkman as his anchorman as Munawa has brought stability to the department.
Against Hwange, the player displayed his versatility when he shifted to a more attacking role later in the game to accommodate Douglas Sibanda, who took over the holding role after coming in for an off form Mthulisi Maphosa.
The Sibanda – Munawa combination could see out the rest of the season for Highlanders in central midfield if the earlier gains more composure with more game time.
Sibanda possesses the positional discipline needed for an anchorman and is adept at playing one touch football which is one quick way of launching an attack.
Upfront new boy Gabriel Nyoni had ample time to prove his worth to the Highlanders supporters after coming in for the injured Beaven Chikaka.
The jury is still out on Nyoni although he showed a commitment to get involved in tussles despite being dwarfed by the big Hwange defenders.
He looks like a striker who could thrive on a clean supply of balls as he showed some good touches when he had the ball at his feet.
Hwange are languishing in the relegation zone but their coach Nation Dube is positive that his side will not be relegated at the end of the season.
The former Hwange midfielder also refuted claims that he has been given an ultimatum to collect seven points out of a possible nine.
“I have not received any formal communication to that effect and it is news to me,” Dube said.
“At the moment I am concerned with how to chart the way forward for the team and I will not concern myself with hearsay.”
Hwange will play Monomotapa in their next encounter when the league resumes.