HARARE – Just when no-one gave them a chance, Harare City are now one victory away from landing the Castle Premiership title after they humiliated Highlanders 4-0 at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
With title rivals Dynamos drawing 2-2 with Chicken Inn in Bulawayo yesterday, City moved into first place on the log with 53 points after their convincing victory over Bosso.
IN BLACK AND WHITE: The Rufaro Stadium scoreboard tells the whole story of Harare City’s destruction of Highlanders on Sunday. Picture: Annie Mpalume
City now need to win their last game of the season against CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium this weekend and they will be crowned champions regardless of what Dynamos and Highlanders do.
Dynamos, who trail City by two points, will be up against relegation threatened Black Mambas while Bosso will host Shabanie Mine in Bulawayo.
It will be a big achievement for City, who were only promoted into the top flight league in 2012.
Yesterday, the Sunshine Boys effectively put one hand on the Premiership trophy with a ruthless display that completely annihilated Highlanders.
City coach Bigboy Mawiwi was delighted with the win and attributed their ascendency to the top of the log to his team’s fighting spirit.
“We played very well. I had told the boys that we needed at least three goals to cushion ourselves given the way referees are behaving in these last games,” Mawiwi said.
“But I thank God, God is for everyone. It’s the end of a tough season for us. Somehow we drew six games; it was like we were not playing well.
“But we have worked hard we want this championship. But it’s not going to be easy. We respect CAPS United.”
Highlanders assistant coach Bekhithemba Ndlovu admitted that his team had wasted a golden opportunity to wrap up the championship.
“We wanted to win this game badly but maybe it’s our attitude that was wrong. We just need to concentrate on winning our game and let other teams play their own games,” he said.
Ndlovu backed his decision to keep struggling midfielder Mthulusi Maphosa for the entire 90 minutes. Maphosa was clearly the weakest link in the Bosso chain.
“It was not Mthulusi only if I had my way I would have substituted six players but I’m only allowed three substitutions,” the former Highlanders player said.
“But it was down to our attitude that was wrong. We were complacent.”
Ndlovu has failed to win a single game in the two games he has been left in charge of Bosso in the absence of Kelvin Kaindu, raising the ire of critics who believe he is not cut out for the big job.
“The players have worked very hard; this is something that happens in football,” he said.
“For me as a coach I drew in the first game with Motor Action and lost this one. But I have all the confidence that what I’m doing is right. It was just not our day.”
The Bulawayo giants arrived in Harare needing a win to ensure they keep ahead of the chasing pack but instead they fell to their heaviest defeat of the season in extraordinary fashion.
Harare City went ahead after 16 minutes through Nathan Ziwini before William Manondo increased the lead on the stroke of halftime.
The Sunshine Boys were then gifted an opportunity to extend their lead just after half time when the referee somehow adjudged Bhekhi Ncube to have fouled Martin Vengesai inside the box.
This was despite that both players seemed to have been in 50-50 tussle for an aerial ball.
But poetic justice would reign supreme as Highlanders goalie Munyaradzi Diya went on to stop Crispen Dickson’s spot kick.
Highlanders’ fortune was however short-lived.
Ziwini completed his brace in the 50th minute to give City a 3-0 lead.
The former Dynamos man was set up by a brilliant combination play between Talent Chawapihwa and the impressive Silas Songani.
Songani, impressive all afternoon on the right flank, duly completed Bosso’s destruction with a move he created and finished with the most sublime fashion in the 65th minute.
The Warriors winger beat Innocent Muparanga at the edge of the box before driving into the box.
Songani slotted his shot under the on rushing Diya.