Highlanders coach, Elroy Akbay, has described their performance as very bad following their goalless draw against Harare City away at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
Addressing journalists at a press conference after the match, Akbay said his troops failed to apply themselves in ways which could earn them the precious victory.
“The result was very bad; football was very bad. The tempo was low, in the first half especially, there was no communication between the midfielders and the defenders and every time the keeper got the ball the midfielders were not moving . . . and if you cannot move first, if you do not play football, you can never win the game. And today you saw that also. At Chapungu it was a problem. If we play like this, we can do everything but it’s not working,” he said.
Highlanders had several golden opportunities to win the match throughout the match. One such moment came just after the interval when substitute Ralph Matema from four yards out tapped a cross on goal with the keeper to beat but Harare City goalkeeper, Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, was level to it.
Another such opportunity was when star forward, Prince Dube, attempted a lob with only keeper to beat but blew upwards of the crossbar eight minutes from time.
“For us, it’s not much. Two chances in one-half it’s not much. We need a minimum of eight chances to make sure that we are dominating the opponent. But today, we were not dominating . . . the tempo was low because the opponent was playing the same tempo as we did. That means you as Highlanders you have to play different and this is what we have to do but today it was not there,” he added.
Akbay insisted that the unfortunate shenanigans which led to the abandonment of the ‘Zimbabwe derby’ against Dynamos at Barboufields stadium over the weekend had no physical or emotional bearing on the players.
“I don’t think so, the players are already fit that means they can play two, three games a week there’s no problem. But if you play like this every game, it is too much. I was not happy with what I saw today. It was very bad football.
“. . . we played only 40 minutes there. The first half we played okay football but we played not to defend and we played very bad. But the second half we had the chance to change a lot of things that’s why I am sad that the game was cancelled actually but yeah, it [the Harare City draw] has nothing to do with that game,” he said.
Highlanders are now one position five on the log table with 14 points from seven matches with a game in hand.
“Well, we are doing okay, but only what I’m not happy about is [what] we are doing with the teams at the bottom of the log. We are doing very bad against them. And that’s why I’m very pissed off,” he said.