Chioniso Mashakada in Bulawayo
HIGHLANDERS have increased their chances of finishing the season with silverware by booking a place in the Chibuku Super Cup final after defeating ZPC Kariba 1-0 in a semi-final played at Barbourfields yesterday.
They face Ngezi Platinum who dismissed Harare City 7-6 on penalties on Saturday.
The development holds a possible redemption for the Bulawayo giants who had a poor start to the season.
Prince Dube scored the only goal of the match in the 35th minute.
Kariba finished the last 10 minutes of the match one man down after Ian Nekati was dismissed for elbowing Godfrey Makaruse.
Highlanders technical manager Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh was delighted to guide his side to the final.
The Dutch tactician said, in the cup, focus now shifts to the final where they have a chance to play in Africa if they go all the way to win it.
“Yes 1-0 victory, fairly happy we are through to the final, we scored a perfect goal,” said de Jongh.
“We started fairly well. It was a 50-50 game but we did well to create chances. The victory, that’s what we wanted and we are in the final and I am happy,” he said.
He also praised their fans for rallying behind the team bragging they have the best supporters in the country.
“We have the greatest fans in the country, passionate. I like their passion,” he said.
De Jongh, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the possibility that they will be in action during the international break.
This means Bosso will have to do without in-form striker Prince Dube who has been called up for the Warrior’s back-to-back Afcon qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia.
ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi believes they gave a good account of themselves despite being on the losing end.
“In all fairness, I would say we gave a good account of ourselves. From the onset, things didn’t favour us, I think my guys did very well. In the first half, Highlanders didn’t create so many chances. . . we were caught napping and they capitalised on that,” said Tamirepi.
He, however, said his players were intimidated by Bosso fans.
“Come second half, you can imagine we were attacking and I would say there was intimidation by the fans when they started throwing missiles on the pitch and that killed the momentum. Generally, I am not happy with the happy with we treated,” he said.