The 2021/22 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League wraps up.

Highlanders Media

The 2021/22 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League has come to an end, and it was a disappointing season for Highlanders as they finished 5th on the log with 52 points.

The Premier League was disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and resumed in November 2021, after 2 years without top-flight football. Highlanders had a slow start, they lost 2-0 to Black Rhinos at the National Sports stadium in the opening game of the season.

Bosso’s slow start continued in the first games of the season, they drew 0-0 with Ngezi Platinum Stars at Barbourfields stadium, and the following week they lost to Mutare-based side Manica Diamonds. Bosso managed to pick their first win of the season at home when they won 2-0 against Whawha FC. The string of winless runs continued; the Bulawayo giants lost to bitter rivals Bulawayo City by a goal to nil in the Bulawayo derby. Bosso however got their first biggest win of the season when they thumped, Herentals College FC 4 -0 at Barbourfields Stadium.

Their search for the first away win continued, as Bosso were held to a one-all draw by Caps United at the National Sports Stadium. A string of draws continued from match day 10 against Triangle at Gibbo stadium. It was a frustrating first half of the season as Bosso was fined US$6000 for pitch invasion against FC Platinum at Mandava stadium, FC Platinum was also awarded 3 points with a 3-0 scoreline for the abandoned match. The two sides were level at 1-1 when referee Kuzivakwamwari Jaravaza awarded the hosts a penalty in the 82cnd minute after Peter Muduhwa was adjudged to have fouled Walter Musona in the box. However, the contact seemed to have happened outside the 18 area with the FC Platinum player losing his footing when he got into the box. Highlanders’ players protested the decision and their fans responded by invading the pitch and targeting one of the assistant referees.

Bosso faced Dynamos on match day 15 at Barbourfields stadium, however, the match was abandoned before the full-time whistle after chaotic scenes. PSL made the decision to award Bosso 3 points and a 3–0 scoreline. The Highlanders Executive dismissed Technical Manager Mandla Mpofu and his technical staff the following week in April. Joel Luphahla survived the chop, he took over the remaining matches as the interim coach, and Luphahla played a goalless draw against ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium. Joel won his first game as an interim coach by beating Harare city with a goal to nil through an Ariel Sibanda well-converted penalty.

 Highlanders appointed Baltemar Brito as their new substantive head coach in June, he came with his assistant coach, Antonio Torres, and Joel Luphahla maintained his position as the assistant coach. The eagerness to see the new coach take charge of the team saw Bosso record a huge crowd at their home stadium, BF. Brito won his first game in charge by beating Black Rhinos 3-2.

The defeat to FC Platinum meant that Bosso had gone without a league victory against Platinum for nine years. The last time Bosso beat FC Platinum in a league match played in Bulawayo was in October 2013 when they won the encounter 2-1.

It was going to be a tall order for Bosso in the last 2 games of the season as they aimed to finish the season in a respective position. Bosso dropped two valuable points when they were held 1-1 by ZPC Kariba at Barbourfields. Bosso’s last game of the season was a trip to the capital, to face the already relegated Harare City. Harare City bowed out of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League with a bang after thumping Highlanders 3-1 at the National Sports Stadium and ending Bosso’s faint hopes of sneaking into the top-four finish