Home » Sports » Injury-Time Penalty Saves Bosso

HIGHLANDERS salvaged a point from the jaws of defeat when striker Gabriel Nyoni converted from the penalty spot deep into optional time to save his team the blushes against a tactically disciplined and impressive Harare City at Barbourfields yesterday.

Bosso were awarded a second penalty of the day during added time when first assistant referee Edgar Rumeki raised his flag after Tendai Samanja handled under pressure in the box. Upstepped Nyoni who beat Tafadzwa Dube with a perfect shot.

That injury time goal was a relief for Highlanders fans who were wearing long faces staring the prospects of their team’s third consecutive defeat at home.

Just after the hour mark, referee Thomas Masaa gave Highlanders a penalty after Benson Maglasi had handled in the box but Highlanders’ goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda failed to beat his opposite number from the spot kick.

After fluffing an opportunity to draw level, Harare City looked set to walk away with maximum points.

Harare City had taken a 27th minute lead courtesy of a headed goal by William Manondo who finished off a perfect build-up up by the Sunshine Boys.

The visitors had started a move from the back through the midfield with defensive linkman Tendai Samanja passing the ball to Talent Chawapihwa on the left wing. Chawapihwa then dribbled past Simon Munawa, sent in a cross that Manondo headed home leaving Highlanders goalkeeper Sibanda rooted to the spot.

Harare City’s coach Taurai Mangwiro praised his players for a good show and felt that they deserved to win the game having created better scoring opportunities than their opponents.

He declined to comment on the decision to give Highlanders a penalty as well as the referee’s eight minutes optional time.

“I thought we had done enough to deserve three points but then we dropped two crucial points right at the death of the match in unfortunate circumstances. I would like to salute my boys for putting up a stellar show but whatever they gave was not good enough to get the points. Throughout the match we were good and even when they were chasing the game we had opportunities to put the game to bed,” said Mangwiro.

“Today we walk out of Barbourfields Stadium proud winners even if we drew.”

Harare City did well to contain Highlanders’ early raids and could have found themselves trailing Bosso as early as five minutes into the game when Obadiah Tarumbwa’s hard and low shot hit the upright with Dube a beaten man.

Highlanders continued to enjoy possession but in areas that didn’t trouble the visitors.

Harare City settled as the game progressed and started to build from the back where Themba Ndlovu partnered Dickson in central defence while their central midfield had Samanja and James Jam.

Samanja did well to neutralise Highlanders’ playmaker Nqobizitha Masuku while Jam made sure that Tendai Ngulube didn’t initiate any moves.

Samanja was the architect of Harare City’s goal as he spotted an unmarked Chawapihwa on the left side and sent him a through pass. The latter then made his way past Munawa before sending a cross which Manondo headed home.

Highlanders tried to come back but couldn’t penetrate Harare City’s defence.

When they did, it’s either their strikers failed to find the target or Dube was the stumbling block.

Tarumbwa did well to shield his marker in the 36th minute but shot over the bar while Rahman Kutsanzira got to the end of a Ngulube defence-splitting pass only to be denied by Dube who stretched his leg and conceded a corner three minutes before half-time.

Seven minutes after the break, Masaa denied Harare City a clear penalty after Tarumbwa had hacked down Chawapihwa in the box but the referee said the incident occurred outside the penalty area. Tarumbwa got away with a yellow card with Kadewere hitting the wall from the resultant free-kick.

Thomas Chideu, Simon Munawa and Welcome Ndiweni also tried spectacular shots as desperation for an equaliser got the better of Bosso players.

On the other hand, Sibanda came to the rescue of Bosso when he denied Francisco Zekumbawire, who had dribbled past Erick Mudzingwa, a goal in the 85th minute.

Highlanders resorted to pumping the ball upfront and that paid off during injury time when Samanja handled in clear view of assistant referee Rumeki who raised his flag to signal a penalty.

Nyoni equalised from the spot kick.

As usual, Highlanders’ coach Bongani Mafu rued missed opportunities

“Sometimes you just need luck and luck is one thing that has been eluding us,” he said.

Source : The Herald