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WARRIORS’ midfielder Peter “Rio” Moyo was stretched off the field after sustaining a “serious ankle injury” as log leaders Highlanders turned on the magic to outplay Buffaloes in an exhilarating Castle Lager Premiership match at Sakubva yesterday.

Genuine fears abound that Moyo might not recover in time for Sunday’s African Cup of Nations second first round return leg between Zimbabwe and Tanzania at the National Sports Stadium owing to yesterday’s injury.

Highlanders mentor Kevin Kaindu was forced to make an injury-inspired substitution when he introduced Welcome Ndiweni for the dreadlocked Moyo after just 26 minutes.

Kaindu described Moyo’s injury as serious.

“It was indeed a serious injury and he cannot step on his own. We really cannot say whether he will be able to play for the national team because the doctors will decide on that. He will still be going for national team camp,” said Kaindu.

Solid in defence, creative in the middle of park and predatory each time they were in possession upfront, the visiting Bulawayo giants, who were full value of the three points they collected, showed g intent to take the game to their opponents from the onset.

National team left back Milton Ncube could have been the first to put his name on the scoresheet 10 minutes into the match when his team won a free-kick just outside the box and released a screamer that was parried to safety by the Buffaloes’ goalminder Blessing Mwandimutsira.

However, it was the outstanding Charles Sibanda, who propelled his team into the lead 16 minutes into the match when he received Peter Moyo’s pass on the left and charged towards goal before firing home from a tight angle to beat a diving Mwandimutsira.

Buffaloes came back after the breather seemingly more determined to save their image before a good crowd at home and their efforts were rewarded only after two minutes of play when Jacob Mozokomba’s hard and low shot beat Highlanders goalkeeper, Ariel Sibanda, from a dead ball just outside the box.

Just when the home team started clawing back into the game, Sibanda was back to torment the Mutare outfit.

The former Motor Action and FC Platinum striker completed a brace in the 55th minute when he dribbled past Buffaloes defender Philip Chandisaita before he toe-poked the ball past a sprawling Mwandimutsira.

Ten minutes later, an out-of-sorts Chandisaita beat his own goalkeeper when he deflected Sibanda’s low cross into the net to seal a well deserved away victory for Highlanders.

Kaindu was a relieved man after the final whistle and commended his team for getting maximum points away from home.

“I think it is good that we managed to get three points away from home, especially here in Mutare. For the past two seasons, we have not been able to get the three points here at Sakubva.

“I really want to thank the boys for the positive attitude although somehow I feel that they did not really play according to instructions. We told them to avoid committing fouls around the box and they did the opposite. Buffaloes got their goal from a dead ball which was a result of a foul committed near the box,” Kaindu said.

Buffaloes coach Luke Ma- somere, who is still battling to come to terms with another humiliating 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Triangle, said his team played better although they failed to convert the chances they created.

“I think we played well. In fact, the performance was better than what we did last time against Triangle. We also had a lot of chances but we failed to convert. Our opponents created chances and they made use of them. We also made a lot of mistakes in defence and we were punished for that,” Masomere said.

Source : The Herald

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