Nyoni double sends Highlanders through

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Highlanders 3-2 Triangle
HIGHLANDERS dominated Triangle at Barbourfields on Sunday as Gabriel Nyoni’s double helped them reach the quarter finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
Highlanders attacked from the onset and after the visitors survived a few scares, Kevin Kaindu’s men finally made the pressure count after only two minutes as Nyoni scored his first.
The build-up to the goal was something from the training ground. After winning a free kick just outside the box, Milton Ncube and Lawson Nkomo pretended to argue over who will take it, before right winger Nkomo wandered away unmonitored.
With Triangle prepared for Ncube to have a crack at goal, the sly midfielder slipped through Nkomo who lifted the ball to the far post where Dumisani Ndlovu had taken station. Ndlovu’s header back was nodded into the roof of the net by Nyoni, who joined in July from Bulawayo Chiefs.
Peter Moyo could have doubled Highlanders’ lead after Triangle goalkeeper Brighton Chipula made a mess of an attempted punch, but shot at the feet of a sprawling defender when a lob would have been the correct decision.
Triangle clawed their way back into the game and were level after 16 minutes when Charles Makoto’s low shot kissed Munyaradzi Diya’s outstretched right glove on its way in. Diya will be disappointed with his positioning after drifting to the left side of his goal, giving Makoto a lot of space to aim at.
Nyoni thought he had got his second on 27 minutes after being slid through by the veteran midfielder Njabulo Ncube, but his strike was correctly ruled out for offside.
But there was no denying Nyoni his second moments later when Njabulo did well to hold the ball to allow Mthulisi Maphosa time to run through the Triangle rearguard before gently pushing the ball in his path. Maphosa’s low cross eluded Chipula but not the waiting Nyoni who helped it over the line with his left foot.
Highlanders thoroughly deserved their advantage at halftime and they looked safe shortly after the break when Njabulo finished off Bruce Kangwa’s cross after a surging run on the left.
But Triangle made sure of a grandstand finish with a late rally which started when Pardon Chinungwa forced the ball in from an acute angle after Diya’s parried clearance.
The visitors twice came close as Diya suddenly found himself the busier of the two goalkeepers, but Highlanders also had opportunities to shut the door on Triangle, like when skipper Innocent Mapuranga was encouraged forward only to shoot just wide after a neat exchange of passes with the willing Kangwa.Advertisement

Njabulo Ncube too could have got a fourth but skied his effort from inside the box after another Kangwa delivery.
Earlier, How Mine overcame Black Rhinos 1-0 at the same ground. Both matches were televised by the South African sports channel, SuperSport.
Mbada Diamonds Cup First Round Results
Sunday: Highlanders 3-2 Triangle, Dynamos 1-0 Tripple B, How Mine 1-0 Black Rhinos, Harare City 1-0 Monomotapa, Hwange 1-0 FC Platinum
Saturday: CAPS United (0-0) 7-6 Motor Action [after penalty shoot-out]; Shabanie Mine 0-3 Chicken Inn, Buffaloes (1-1) 4-2 Black Mambas [after penalty shoot-out]