BULAWAYO – Veteran Highlanders midfielder Mthulisi Maphosa was instrumental in his team's Mbada Diamonds Cup victory over Buffaloes last Sunday at Mucheke Stadium on Sunday.
Maphosa's introduction in the second half together with that of Beaven Chikaka and Milton Ncube proved to be a masterstroke by the Bosso technical team as the Bulawayo giants went on to slam three goals past the army side in a 10 minute blitz.
Even Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu admitted after the match that the changes he made in the second half swung the game in his team's favour.
But it was Maphosa's introduction for the ineffective Simon Munawa that proved to be the game changer.
Munawa had just been content with playing in front of holding midfielder Hillary Madzivanyika and was not giving any support to the strikers.
All this changed when Maphosa came on and exerted more pressure on the Buffaloes defence that was already struggling to cope with the pacey Bosso striking duo of Chikaka and Gabriel Nyoni.
Maphosa was not only quick enough to join the attack, but his vision with the ball helped stretch the soldiers' defence.
The former Zimbabwe Saints and Monomotapa linkman showed his experience with the way he switched play.
This allowed the Highlanders midfielders to start whipping in crosses and from these Maphosa headed Bosso ahead on 63 minutes.
Maphosa then created the second goal with another switch of play when he released Nyoni on the right flank and the young striker crossed for Chikaka who then teed up Masimba Mambare to poke home his team's second of the day.
That ability to carve open the Buffaloes rear guard by playing the correct passes made all the difference as prior to Maphosa's introduction both teams had been playing a passing that however, lacked the cutting edge.
And Kaindu must be a happy man as Maphosa could turn out to be his impact player in the remaining part of the season.
The former FC Platinum midfielder displayed an impressive ability to read the game from the bench as he went on to change the complexion of the game with some clever passing and movement on and off the ball.
His experience is going to be crucial for Bosso as the Bulawayo giants chase a league and cup double.