HARARE – The Dutch are known for their brutal honesty and for speaking their mind without mincing their words.
This is exactly what Highlanders coach Erol Akbay did when assessing his team’s performance after the goalless draw against struggling Harare City in a Castle Lager Premiership match yesterday.
A win with a two-goal margin would have seen the Bulawayo giants return to the top of the log.
However, this was the second consecutive goalless draw for Bosso against a team struggling at the lower end of the league table.
Before Sunday ’s abandoned match against Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium, Akbay’s side had dropped two crucial points in the 0-0 draw with bottom side Chapungu in Gweru.
Yesterday, the Dutchman was not only disappointed with how his players were slow to react in most instances but in how they failed to beat a City side that has only one win from seven matches.
“I’m not happy that we are not doing well against teams on the bottom of the log and I’m really pissed off. I’m not happy with what I saw today, it was very bad football,” Akbay told reporters after the match.
“The tempo was very low particularly in the first half; there was no communication from the defence to the midfield.
“Half the time our goalkeeper was getting the ball, our midfielders were not moving; that’s not our normal game. If you do not move you cannot play football and you will never win a game.
“Today (yesterday) and at Chapungu, it was the same problem. If we continue playing like this, then everything will not work.”
Akbay said Highlanders are a big team, fighting for the title and they should not labour to beat a struggling team like the Sunshine Boys.
“For us to create only two chances in a game is not good enough. We need to create a minimum of eight chances to make sure that we have dominated our opponent,” he said.
“Today, we did not dominate our opponent. We were playing with a low tempo just the same like our opponent. We are Highlanders and we have to play differently.”
In the first half, Bosso’s only meaningful chance fell to forward Prince Dube when he raced past the City defence before taking a shot at goal.
Dube thought he had broken the deadlock but the Sunshine Boys’ goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu pushed his effort for a corner.
At the start of the second half, Akbay brought in striker Ralph Matema in the place of midfielder Allen Gahadzikwa.
Matema almost scored with his first touch when he got to the end of a cross from captain Rahman Kutsanzira.
Once again, it was Nyamupanedengu, who rescued his side by parrying out the effort for a corner.
Matema had another chance to give his side maximum points but he headed over the bar a cross from Simon Munawa.
In added time, Dube had another glorious chance to win the game right at the death but the Bosso forward could not punish the home side.
Dube exchanged passes with Matema before dribbling past two Sunshine Boys’ defenders.
Nyamupanedengu raced off his line and the Bosso forward could not create a good angle to find the empty net before running the ball out of play.
Although they managed to get a draw against one of the leading contenders in the league, yesterday’s match could have been the last for the Sunshine Boys’ coach Mike Madzivanyika.
The City bosses went straight into an emergency meeting after the match to deliberate on the technical team’s fate.
Harare City remained in 15th place on the log with seven points after yesterday’s result.
Madzivanyika however, put on a brave face when he spoke to the media after the result.
“We are creating chances but the problem is that we are not scoring. It is difficult to get three points when you cannot score,” he said.