BY FORTUNE MBELE
ZPC KARIBA . . . . .. 0
HIGHLANDERS . . . (1) 1
PRINCE Dube produced another priceless performance to help Highlanders boot ZPC Kariba out of the Chibuku Cup in a semi-final match played at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday.
Dube came back to haunt ZPC Kariba after he was shown the red card in a league game two weeks ago at Nyamhunga Stadium in a match involving the same teams.
He scored a beauty in the 35th minute against the run of play after receiving the ball on the far right before cutting in-field and curling the ball past goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya.
The Highlanders’ gunman has scored in every match that Bosso have played in this competition so far this year.
He scored when the Bulawayo giants booted out Dynamos in the first round, as well as when they beat FC Platinum 3-0 in the quarter-final and his third in yesterday’s semi-final clash.
But it was a game that ZPC Kariba could have won in the first 20 minutes after they pressed Highlanders and got three free-kicks in good positions, but Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe failed to convert.
ZPC congested their midfield with only Tawanda Nyamandwe upfront and did not allow Highlanders to play their passing game but their movement to the final third was poor.
They, however, ended the game with 10 men after defender Ian Nekati was shown the red card eight minutes before the final whistle after elbowing substitute Godfrey Makaruse.
ZPC Kariba players protested the red card and referee of the day Hardley Ndazi tried to explain his decision to coach Godfrey Tamirepi.
Highlanders coach Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh was happy they are through to the final for the first time since the return of the tournament in 2014.
“I am happy we are going to the final. It’s not important how you play in a semi-final; what is important is getting to the final. I am happy for the club and the players. We deserved to go to the final after beating Dynamos, FC Platinum and today ZPC Kariba,” De Jongh said.
His counterpart Tamirepi felt said they were treated unfairly at BF yesterday.
“In all fairness I would say we gave a very good account of ourselves in the well-contested match and without any reservations I could say from the onset things did not favour us, but when it comes to play my boys did well,” Tamirepi said.
He added: “There was a lot of intimidation from the fans when we were attacking and they were throwing missiles which slowed down the rhythm and frustrated us. I am not happy with the way we were treated here.”
ZPC Kariba: T Mawaya, I Nekati (red card 82′), M Kunyarimwe, B Mutukure, J Marufu, B Juru (T Chiunye 72′), D Chakupe (T Ranthokoane 61′), C Muleya, T Nyamandwe, J Gwara (K Nasama 61′), T Chamboko
Highlanders: A Sibanda, M Phiri, M Ndlovu, A Mbeba, P Muduhwa, N Masuku, T Makanda (B Sibanda 90+1′), B Banda, P Dube, A Silla, D Khumalo (G Makaruse 80′)