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BancABC Sup8r: Highlanders knocked out
30/06/2013 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
Feeling the heat ... Kelvin Kaindu
 
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A PENALTY shootout was needed to decide the BancABC Sup8r quarter-final match between Highlanders and FC Platinum, following a goalless draw in 90 minutes.

The platinum miners’ goalkeeper Francis Tizai pulled off brilliant saves to help his team dump the Bulawayo giants out with a 3-1 shootout win at Mucheke Stadium on Saturday.

It was Highlanders third successive defeat flowing league defeats to Chicken Inn and Caps United.

And, as pressure begins to mount from restive fans, coach Kelvin Kaindu said his charges must learn the necessary lessons.

“We need to believe that we can come back. Although these defeats might be difficult things to talk about, such things happen in football and we have to come out stronger from such a bad situation,” said Kaindu.

“Football is a pressure game especially with big teams. Whether you win or lose there will always be pressure but it is all about how you handle the pressure.

“If you win you will be under pressure to maintain the good form and if you lose you will again be under pressure to post good results. We have to deal with it and just make sure everyone is happy at the club.

“We have hope because we created a lot of scoring chances but we just failed to convert. We will come back in the league.”

Highlanders only managed to convert one penalty while Tizai saved three others, taken by Simon Munawa, Bruce Kangwa and Heritani Masuku.

FC Platinum converted all of their penalties to progress to the next round, where they will look forward to a Zvishavane derby semi-final date with Shabanie Mine.

It was Highlanders’ third consecutive defeat and the result denied them a first piece of silverware since the 2011 Independence Trophy. They lost in the final of the BancABC Cup’s last edition in 2011.

Chances were hard to come by in regulation time for both sides but Highlanders could have taken the lead as early as the fourth minutes only for Bevan Chikaka to see his low drive narrowly miss the target.

FC Platinum also tried to break the deadlock midway the first-half but Charles Sibanda had his headed effort saved by Munyaradzi Diya in goals for Highlanders. Three minutes after the restart, Chikaka’s teasing shot forced a desperate save from Tizai.

FC Platinum, though, were the better side in the second-half but failed to make the most of their chances. They would produce the goods in the shootout though as Highlanders fell apart and were sent tumbling out of the tournament.



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