BULAWAYO – New Highlanders signing Roderick Mutuma was the toast of the day as he inspired his team to a convincing win over FC Platinum to book a place in the final of the ZNA Commander Charities Soccer Shield.
Bosso will now meet CAPS United in the final but the date and venue of that match are yet to be confirmed.
Although he did not get onto the score sheet, Mutuma left the pitch to a standing ovation from the Highlanders supporters after providing two assists for double scorer Prince Dube.
The former Dynamos forward’s deft touches and work rate also impressed the Bosso faithful.
Even at the end of the match, the home side’s supporters were queuing up just to shake Mutuma’s hand.
Highlanders coach Erol Akbay could not hide his joy at the performance from the club’s marquee signing.
“Roderick played very well today. I’m happy we had two goals because of him,” the Dutchman said.
Although the final scoreline suggests the tie was a one-sided affair, it was actually the visiting side which settled first during the opening exchanges but could not break down the Bosso defence.
FC Platinum were punished for their lack of cutting edge upfront when Highlanders took the lead in the 13th minute through Simon Munawa.
The Highlanders midfielder received a pass from Honest Moyo before volleying past FC Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari from inside the box.
The home side would eventually double their lead a minute before the break when Dube scored his first.
Mutuma skilfully set up Dube, who outpaced his markers, before rounding off Mhari to place the ball into an empty net.
Dube completed his brace in the second half when he beat Mhari again after he had been set up by Mutuma.
The young forward, who was the Castle Lager Premiership Rookie of the Year last season, was completely unmarked and made no mistake to seal an impressive victory for the hosts.
Despite trailing by three goals, Norman Mapeza’s side continued to play their passing game, but failed to penetrate the Bosso rear-guard.
With a bit of luck, Talent Chawapiwa could have found the consolation for the visitors in the dying minutes had he capitalised on his pace after outwitting his markers only to direct his effort wide with the Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda exposed.
After the match, Mapeza admitted that Bosso were the better side on the day but there was still time for his side to improve before the season commences.
“It was a good game but to us it’s still work in progress, we are still in our preparatory stages,” Mapeza said.
“In terms of playing football, they were the better side than us and they defended well.”
Akbay said he was excited with the way his charges had performed.
“In the first 20 minutes we played good football but after that FC Platinum played the game. I was very happy with the way my strike force played,” Akbay said.