Technical Manager Madinda Ndlovu hailed his charges for exhibiting some great fighting spirit when they came from a goal down to force a 1-1 draw against a well organised Black Rhinos side in a Castle Larger Premier Soccer League match played at National Sports Stadium on Saturday.
Highlanders got their equalizer through goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda who converted from the spot in the 68th minute.
Sibanda was scoring his 10th goal for Highlanders, all his goals coming from penalties. He has only failed to convert once, having been given responsibility 11 times.
Black Rhinos took the lead in the 32nd minute; when Moses Demera capitalised on a defensive mix up by Bosso players inside the box which resulted to Denzel Khumalo setting up the former Yadah FC striker to slot home the opener.
The introduction of Zambian international, Peter Nyirenda and Prince Dube who replaced Cleopas Kapupurika and Denzel Khumalo respectively in the 53rd minute changed the complexion of the match completely.
Nyirenda went on to lose his marker with top class off the ball movement in the 66th minute to receive a pass from Dube before he fired a powerful shot, beating the Rhinos goalkeeper, but only to watch his ball hit the up-right post.
The rebound was handled by Black Rhinos defender Tafadzwa Jaravani inside the penalty box, and the referee of the day did not hesitate to point to the spot.
Although he would have preferred a win in the opening match of the season, Ndlovu was impressed by his charges who dominated Black Rhinos for the better part of the 90 minutes, particularly the last 45 minutes.
“I am very proud to walk out of the National Sports Stadium with a point, especially considering where we are coming from. We had challenges in the pre-season and we had not really worked out our tactics as a team yet.
“Coming here and fighting from a goal down is something commendable,” said the impressed Highlanders Boss.