Highlanders coach Mandla Mpofu has explained the reason captain Ariel Sibanda was dropped to the bench in the 1-0 victory over Bulawayo Chiefs in the Chibuku Super Cup on Sunday.
The goalkeeper was a surprise exclusion in the Bosso starting XI with Future Sibanda taking his place in goals.
According to Mpofu, Ariel is still the team’s first choice goalkeeper and did not play because of fitness issues.
The coach said: “When we went to Harare (for the Independence Cup final against Dynamos), Ariel was in bad shape and is working on his fitness.
“He had an injury, and we had to use Future who came from FC Platinum and has done pretty well.
“We will see, he (Ariel) is still our number one goalkeeper and the captain.”
Reflecting on the match, Mpofu was not fully convinced with his team’s performance and felt his charges didn’t bring the best game.
Bosso started their title defence on a positive note courtesy of a first half solitary strike from debutant Washington Navaya.
“Overall, we were a bit sloppy,” the coach said. “We did our part in the first half and managed to get a goal but in the second half, our opponents came with a good strategy.
“They (Chiefs) were unlucky and could have gotten one or two goals.”
Highlanders, who moved to the second position of Group 1, will face leaders Chicken Inn in their next match.