BULAWAYO – Highlanders fans were left lamenting their teams’ failure to break Dynamos’ stranglehold on the Castle Premiership title after watching Bosso fail to achieve a goal harvest against Shabanie Mine at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Highlanders won the match 3-1 but it was not enough.
If Bosso had won Sunday’s match by a four-goal margin they would have been crowned champions but poor finishing cost them the title.
RASTA GOT SOUL: Highlanders midfielder Peter 'Rio' Moyo races away from Fungai Chirinda of Shabanie Mine during Sunday's match. Picture: Auntony Zinyange
Highlanders strikers wasted numerous chances and that ensured the Bulawayo giants were reduced to bridesmaids by their bitter rivals Dynamos in a repeat of last year’s championship race.
In 2012, Bosso finished the season tied on 69 points with DeMbare but the Glamour Boys were nine goals to the good.
This year, Dynamos, Highlanders and Harare City all finished the season tied on 54 points but the Glamour Boys were crowned Castle Premeirship Champions for the third consecutive season because of a superior goal aggregate.
But the story could have been different yesterday had Highlanders attackers not taken turns to miss the target like it was going out of fashion.
Bosso created more than a dozen goal scoring chances but at the end of the day only managed to convert three of those, which was not enough to win them the title on goal difference.
Njabulo Ncube and Milton Ncube (2) were on target for Highlanders while Caleb Masocha got the face saver for Shabanie Mine.
Milton, Masimba Mambare, Ozias Zibande, Peter Moyo and Heritain Masuku could have all walked away with a hat-trick each had they been sure footed in front of goal.
In the end, another promising championship chase ended up in smoke for the Bulawayo giants whose fans will be praying for a victory in next weekend’s Mbada Diamonds Cup as consolation.
Bosso head coach Kelvin Kaindu said his side’s heavy 4 -0 defeat at the hands of Harare City had cost them the title.
“It is good that we managed to get maximum points but once again goal difference put us at a disadvantage.
“I think it was the Harare City game that put us in this situation after we conceded four goals,” Kaindu said.
The Zambian coach was however, quick to point out that he did not mean that his absence had contributed to his team’s loss to the Sunshine Boys.
Highlanders had themselves to blame after letting a promising start fizzle out into a game of missed chances.
Man-of-the-match Rio Moyo tested Shabanie keeper Victor Twaliki in the early minutes of the match before Njabulo opened the scoring after 10 minutes of play.
And what an opener it was as the veteran striker dribbled past Shabanie defender Smart Muchabaiwa before attempting to waltz past
Twaliki who blocked the ball but Njabulo was quick to latch on to the rebound and lobbed the ball over Tafadzwa Mombeshora who was standing guard on the goal mouth.
Highlanders were two up on 19 minutes through Milton who beat Twaliki at his near post after dribbling past Shabanie skipper Rodney Mware and going for goal when the goalie expected him to put on a cross.
Masocha pulled one back for the visitors on 23 minutes after a horrendous mistake by Highlanders rightback Bruce Tshuma gifted Shabanie striker Norman Maroto with the ball and the former Dynamos and Gunners man set up a better positioned Masocha to slot the ball home.
Highlanders suffered another setback when Njabulo limped off injured before the half hour mark and his replacement Zibande struggled to make an impact until the last minute of the match when he provided the assist for Milton to head home Highlanders’ third of the day.
Shabanie Mine coach Luke Masomere said he was happy with the way his charges had played despite ending the season on a losing note.
“I think we played well today despite the defeat, it was a good game and Highlanders were the better side and managed to get three goals.
“Our target was to survive relegation and I am glad that we managed to achieve that and we are still in the PSL,” said Masomere.