Highlanders 3-1 Black Rhinos
Caps United 2-1 Hwange
HIGHLANDERS crafted the perfect response to last week’s loss to Dynamos, convincingly thumping Black Rhinos at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday to return to the summit of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
With the win, Highlanders now lead the standings with 24 points while Caps United moved into third with 23 points after dispatching Hwange 2-1 at the National Sports Stadium behind bitter rivals Dynamos due to an inferior goal difference.
Dynamos have 23 while Hwange and How Mine complete the top five with 22 points each.
After failing to “turn up” for last week’s 1-0 loss to Dynamos in Harare, Highlanders were in trouble in the 45th minute when Lincoln Samaraya was allowed a free header in the box that sailed past Arial Sibanda for a shock lead.
But whatever coach Kelvin Kaindu told his players at halftime worked as they came out guns blazing in the second stanza and were rewarded in the 59th when Gabriel Nyoni rose highest in the box to head home a Valentine Ndaba corner kick.
From there, it was one way traffic and their leading scorer Charles Sibanda burst into the box to bury the ball for a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute.
As pressure piled on Rhinos, defender Lovemore Manokore handled inside the box and Sibanda converted from the penalty spot for his second of the afternoon in the 80th minute.
Kaindu then shored up his defence bringing in Felix Chindungwe for midfielder Joel Ngodzo and when he was certain it was done and dusted, gave a debut to rookie Gabriel Makaruse for Ndaba.
Meanwhile, at the National Sports Stadium, Caps United maintained their unbeaten home run when they handed Hwange their second defeat in a row with a come from behind 2-1 win.
After going behind to a Gilbert Zulu strike in the 22nd minute, Caps drew level four minutes after the breather through forceful striker Dominic Chungwa before Leonard Fiyado scored the winner in the 61st minute.
At Sakubva, Buffaloes beat Chapungu 2-0 via goals from Tafadzwa Mombeshora in the fifth minute and Jacob Muzokomba with the last kick of the day.
How Mine’s 10-match unbeaten run came to an end on Sunday when they lost 2-1 to Triangle at Gibbo Stadium.
The Bulawayo side had the chance to go top of the standings with a win but fell to a Richard Kawondera grounder inside the box in the 26th minute. This left How Mine with 22 points after their third defeat of the season.Advertisement
Kawondera completed his brace in the 79th minute when he finished off a rebound after How Mine goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura made a mess of a simple catch and punched the ball into the path of the onrushing striker, who stabbed home.
Timothy January scored How Mine’s consolation in the 90th minute.
Sunday: Highlanders 3-1 Black Rhinos, Caps United 3-1 Hwange, Triangle 2 -1 How Mine, Buffaloes 2-0 Chapungu
Saturday: Chicken Inn 0-0 Dynamos, Harare City 1-2 Shabanie Mine, ZPC Kariba 1-1 Chiredzi, FC Platinum 1-0 Bantu Rovers
Week 14: How Mine v Highlanders, Shabanie Mine v Buffaloes, Chiredzi v Harare City, Chicken Inn v Caps United, Chapungu v FC Platinum, Dynamos v Black Rhinos, Hwange v ZPC Kariba, Bantu Rovers v Triangle
Week 15: Black Rhinos v How Mine, Buffaloes v Chiredzi, Harare City v Hwange, Caps United v Dynamos, Triangle v Chapungu, ZPC Kariba v Chicken Inn, Highlanders v Bantu Rovers, FC Platinum v Shabanie Mine