BULAWAYO – Bruce Kangwa has been Highlanders’ most consistent performer in the last two seasons and on Sunday he once again stood head and shoulders above the rest in his team’s Mbada Diamonds Cup win over Triangle at Barbourfields Stadium.
The flying wing back was voted man-of-the-match by sports journalists and pocketed a cool $500 after putting up an all-round performance throughout the entire match.
Kangwa edged his Highlanders teammate Gabriel Nyoni, who scored a brace in the 3-2 victory, and Triangle’s exciting midfielder Pasca ‘Ovidy’ Manhanga to the accolade after impressing both in attack and defence.
The mark of a modern footballer is to be equally good both in attack and in defence, and Kangwa did this to perfection on Sunday.
Highlanders starlet Gabriel Nyoni was the frontrunner for the man-of-the-match award going into half time after scoring twice in an thrilling first half.
But Kangwa’s stellar performance in the second half swayed journalists in his favour and he was duly selected as the star performer in the highly competitive match.
Former Tsholotsho Football Club player Manhanga impressed many fans with his silky play in the second half and could have been chosen man-of-the-match had Triangle managed to overturn the deficit and beat Highlanders.
This had seemed possible after the gap-toothed player had reduced the arrears on 63 minutes with a gem of a goal.
But a quick reaction by the Highlanders technical team to replace right-back Lawson Nkomo, who had struggled to contain Manhanga, curtailed the Triangle player’s influence on the match as he found Nkomo’s replacement Eric Mudzingwa a much tougher nut to crack.
And when Manhanga switched to the right flank, he found Kangwa up to the task of closing him down, as the Bosso left-back displayed impeccable timing and used his pace to quickly get back into position before any damage had been done.
After the match, Kangwa admitted that it had never crossed his mind while the game was still on that was putting on a man-of-the-match performance.
“I would like to thank God for this victory and I must admit that I did not expect this as I was just concentrating on helping the team achieve victory,” Kangwa said.
The Highlanders technical team will have to shuffle their pack to find a suitable replacement for Kangwa in Wednesday’s Castle Premiership encounter against FC Platinum as the player is suspended after picking up three yellow cards.