What has gone wrong at Highlanders?

When Highlanders edged Ngezi Platinum Stars 1-0 in a top of the table clash on July 30, Baobab Stadium erupted with black and white delight.

Lynoth Chikuhwa’s brilliant second half strike was enough for Bosso to collect their first maximum points at the home of Ngezi since 2016.

Baltemar Brito’s charges had done what all teams fighting for the championship are expected to do —grind a result at the home of their title rivals.

Bosso were cruising then, and their crucial victory over Madamburo summarized their dominance in the first half of the season.

They (Bosso) stretched their lead at the top of the table to seven points, and their fans starved started to believe the title was theirs for the taking.

Amahlolanyama’s quest to end their 16-year wait for the championship looked  achievable, before an unexpected twist to the tale.

The Bulawayo giants, who extended their unbeaten run to 19 matches after the victory Ngezi, have incredibly crumbled in the second half of the 2023 campaign.

Highlanders have won only one of their last five matches and consequently surrendered top spot to the platinum miners.

Painfully for Bosso fans, if Dynamos beat Triangle United today and then the Premier Soccer League (PSL) awards the latter three points for the two giants’ abandoned match at Babourfields last month, DeMbare will leapfrog Highlanders into second position on the table.

Bosso’s usually rock solid defence is suddenly leaking goals regularly.

Captain and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, who kept 14 clean sheets during Bosso’s 19-game unbeaten run, looks badly exposed and the Highlanders backline is being breached frequently.

Bosso’s hopes of completing a league and couple this season went up in smoke, as they were booted out of the Chibuku Super Cup by struggling CAPS United at Babourfields last week.

Against Bosso, Makepekepe even scored two goals in a single game —something Lloyd Chitembwe’s troops had failed to do in over two months.

CAPS raced to a 2-0 first half lead before Bosso fought back to restore parity in the second stanza, only for Brito’s men to lose in the penalty shootout.

At Emagumeni yesterday, Tshilamoya were somewhat very fortunate to come out with a point against relegation-threatened Sheasham, who dominated in the first half and deservedly took the lead through David Mangesi in the 39th minute.

Stanley Ngala levelled matters for Bosso in the 78th minute.

Highlanders are now six points adrift of Ngezi with nine games remaining but Brito is not giving up on the possibility of his side winning the championship.

“There are still nine games to go. In next round of games, we will surprise everyone and fight for the maximum points.  We don’t want the fans to lose passion for the team. They should continue to believe and we will do our best,” said the Portuguese mentor.

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