By Muziwethu Hadebe
@ Barbourfields Stadium, Bulawayo
Highlanders 0-0 Triangle United
Yellow cards (Ben Munsaka 51’) (Donald Dzinyai 56’, Arnold Chiveya 80’)
TRIANGLE UNITED picked their first point of the season in three matches as they held unbeaten Highlanders to a goalless draw before a good crowd on Good Friday, for the fourth goalless draw of the season.
Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu, made two changes to the team that beat Herentals last week starting with Ozias Zibande ahead of Newman Sianchali as well as preferring Brian Banda instead of Adrian Silla.
Banda was to pick Zibande with a long pass in the box and the double scorer from last week did well to get onto the ball but only to see his effort miss the target by a few inches in the 14th minute.
A minute later he connected another pass outside the box and his effort went over the bar. He was to return in the 20th minute directing his header wide while near the goal post from a fine Honest Moyo Cross.
The visitors played deep in the first half and created little though they had a rare chance from a Courage Denias free kick which was collected well by the Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda in the 37th minute.
On the other end after a quick counter attack Triangle goalkeeper Chang Mariyoni used his feet to scoop out a goal bound Zibande shot, after he turned well in the box receiving a low cross from the right.
Triangle started the second half as the better team as they kept possession well. Collin Duhwa ran well from the right and got into the box, but saw his effort go wide seven minutes into the second half.
In the 66th minute Ndlovu made a double change introducing Sianchali and Silla for Gabriel Nyoni and Ben Munsaka respectively, Sianchali almost scored with his first touch of the ball within a minute of his introduction after he was fed by the overlapping Peter Muduhwa but he shot wide in the box.
Former Caps United and Harare City forward Phineas Bhamusi had a chance to seal the points on the counter in the last minute of the 90 minutes but took long to pick his spot resulting in Tendai Ndlovu sweeping out the challenge.
Silla’s long range effort in stoppage time was pushed for a corner by Mariyoni who was blocking most of Bosso’s raids the whole afternoon.
Highlanders- Ariel Sibanda, McClive Phiri, Honest Moyo, Tendai Ndlovu, Peter Muduhwa, Ben Munsaka(Adrian silla 66’, Brian Banda, Nigel Makumbe(Bukhosi Ncube 72’), Gabriel Nyoni(Newman Sianchali 66’), Godfrey Makaruse and Ozias Zibande.
Triangle- Chang Mariyoni, Ralph Kawondera, Arnold Chiveya, Kudzai Chigwida, Donald Dzinyai, Trevor Mavhunga, Collin Dhuwa, Anelka Chivandire, Courage Denias(Erico Phiri 69’), Russell Madamombe(Guthrie Zhokinyu 83’) and Phineas Bhamusi.
Madinda Ndlovu– “ We had a lot of issues to deal with coming into this match, the first thing was looking at the way we played against Herentals in which we did not play well, so we had to approach this game with a lot of caution and continue from where we left seeing that we were playing against an experienced side, the boys surprised me as we kept the ball and forced them to want to waste time, but credit to Triangle they played well in the second half but when it’s not your day it’s not your day but the boys did very well although we could not score”.
Taurai Mangwiro– “We were under pressure after dropping points in our two opening matches and dropping all points today would have seen us in a very catastrophic situation, we are not yet out of the mud but the point picked will go a long way in giving us the confidence, we managed to diffuse their width and cut out their crosses, allow me to congratulate my colleague I think he has done a good job, Highlanders are now playing with flair and we last saw this a long time ago from them and I think he has done a good job and we can only wish him well on his return to the premiership”.