Nqobizita Masuku’s header handed Highlanders a win over Dongo Sawmills in a drub Castle Lager Premiership match here yesterday to ease pressure on coach Bongani Mafu.
The Bulawayo giants had draw to Buffaloes and lost to Chapungu in their last two matches and many of the club’s fans had been calling for Mafu’s sacking.
However, after yesterday’s win Mafu can sleep a little bit easy as his team moved to fourth place with 10 points, only five behind log leaders Chicken Inn.
After the final whistle Mafu delegated the post match press conference duties to his assistant Mandla Mpofu.
Mpofu said: “We came here to win not to play and we achieved that. We are happy with the way the boys played.
“We introduced Eric Mudzingwa in the second half to protect that goal instead of looking for another goal.”
The defeat to Bosso was Dongo’s fourth one-nil loss of the season and it ensured the league debutants remained rooted to the bottom of the table with only two points.
Dongo coach Shadreck Mugurasave blamed the defeat on his charges’ lack of experience in the top flight.
‘’My boys are playing well but they are just conceding silly goals. Maybe it’s because they lack experience but I’m pleased with the way they are playing. As a coach I’m, however, worried about where we are going,” Mugurasave said.
With both teams under immerse pressure to win but cautious not to concede an early goal both keepers were not called upon to do anything in the first 22 minutes.
The visitors, however, took the lead via a set piece in the 28th minute. Masuku headed home a beautifully weighted Bruce Kangwa free-kick to silence the home crowd.
Dongo came close to equalising when midfielder Dion Coutinho’s shot just missed the upright with Highlanders goalie Ariel Sibanda beaten seven minutes before the break.
At the other end, a Valentine Ndaba corner-kick was headed just wide by striker Ozias Zibande.
Sibanda made a fine save from an Evans Chikwakwai headed effort off another set piece shortly before the break.
In the second half, the home side came back with greater intent with the introduction of exciting young player Lawrence Masibhera for the injured Shepherd Sithole.
Dongo pinned Bosso in their half for most of the second half but they, however, were not able to find an equaliser.