Highlanders technical manager Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh who watched his 10-men side force a one all stalemate against ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga stadium received a shock of his life when the referee of the day, Tatenda Bvekerwa sent off forward Prince Dube for what looked like little contact on the host’s goalkeeper Future Sibanda inside the injury time of the first half.
The ZPC Kariba goal minder made a kill out of the contact, tricking the referee to show Dube a red card.
Sibanda who collected a long ball which the Bosso forward was chasing, deliberately rolled onto the way of Dube who was in motion, resulting in the striker accidentally kicked the back of the goalkeeper and Bvekerwa did not hesitate to give Dube his marching orders.
The 22-year-old forward who is enjoying a rich vein of form couldn’t believe the referee’s decision as he broke down in tears.
After the match, de Jongh could not hide his shock and disappointment.
“Very terrible! The way he (the referee) sent Prince Dube off was totally terrible. I was a striker myself, and I know sometimes as a striker you put pressure on the ball, challenging the goalkeeper. There was totally no foul, there was little contact, unfortunately the referee gave him a red card because in Africa there is no VAR (Video Assistant Referee),” said the Dutchman.
Despite being reduced to 10 men, Bosso produced arguably one of the best performances so far this season, and with a bit of luck, the Bulawayo giants could have left Kariba with a full set of points.
Highlanders dominated proceedings from the first minute, on to concede a goal against the run of play in the 19th minute when Tawanda Nyamandwe thwarted a Bosso attack and released Samuel Makawa who capitalised on a communication breakdown between center-backs Peter Muduhwa and Andrew Mbeba, beating Muduhwa for pace, before beating an exposed Ariel Sibanda on goals.
Bosso continued to dominate the hosts, and could have equalised before the breather as Bukhosi Sibanda initiated a brilliant build up, picking an overlapping MacClive Phiri who did well to cut inside the box, pushing the ball to his left foot but failed to shoot, passing the responsibility back to an un-anticipating Sibanda with only the goalkeeper to beat.
After the break, the Highlanders technical bench made some tactical changes, bringing in Tinashe Makanda for Mbekezeli Sibanda, also pushing Muduhwa upfront, a move that paid off in the 76th minute when the center-back found an equaliser from inside the box, becoming the first Bosso player to score a goal in Nyamhunga stadium after five years.
“We made one mistake in the first half and it was a communication problem that led to the goal for ZPC Kariba, it was a communication problem between the center-backs, but I told them during the break that we have control of the match, we played very well in the first half. I told the players; boys, listen its 1-0, it was a mistake from the referee, we can still get a win or a draw,”
“In the second half I put Peter (Muduhwa) the center-back in the midfield, and later up front, it was a tactical move and he scored,” said de Jongh.
The draw moved Highlanders two places up to position nine.