Bulawayo — RETURNEE Njabulo Ncube scored a brace to inspire Highlanders to their first win of the year in a friendly against Tripple B at Barbourfields yesterday. It was Ncube's third goal in two matches for the Bulawayo giants as he scored in Highlanders' 2-1 defeat to Gwanda Ramblers last month.
The returning striker put Bosso ahead in the 13th minute when he got to the end of a square pass from Milton Ncube to beat Tripple B's goalkeeper Tapiwa Mafunga from close range.
Young Knox Mutizwa had done all the donkey work before releasing Milton.
Nine minutes before half time, Njabulo sealed his brace when he headed the ball into an empty net off a Mutizwa cross.
Highlanders' assistant coach Bekithemba Ndlovu described the victory as a booster.
"It is good to win after a long time. The good thing is that we managed to score from the chances we created. This is a confidence booster for us," said Ndlovu.
Going into yesterday's match, the Bulawayo giants were smarting from a 4-0 defeat suffered at the hands of perennial rivals Dynamos in a Bob 89 Super Cup final at Rufaro Stadium last weekend.
Highlanders had a fortnight ago lost 2-1 to Dynamos in the first leg of the Bob 89 Super Cup final with Beavan Chikaka scoring for them.
In the build-up to Harare's final, Bosso suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat to Gwanda Ramblers at Phelandaba Stadium in Gwanda.
In January, South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns who were on a tour of Zimbabwe beat Highlanders 2-0.
Bosso paraded their new signings Hillary Madzivanyika, Douglas Sibanda and Njabulo.
Sibanda stamped his authority in the defensive midfield role winning a number of balls with Njabulo justifying his presence by scoring two goals.
Madzivanyika failed to live to the pre-match billing as he spent most of the time chasing shadows and when in possession of the ball, he chose to play it backwards or square which did not trouble Tripple B at all.
After the substitution of Sibanda, the dreadlocked Madzivanyika was left even more exposed as he failed to win or intercept any balls from Tripple B. In fact it was Tripple B who sprung to life.
"This was a good game for us and I am not worried about the result but our play. We are working on combinations and this game provided me with an opportunity to have a look at some players who joined us on Friday," said Tripple B coach Friday Phiri.
The two players who joined Tripple B on Friday are former Dynamos players Timire Mamvura and Norman Maroto.
The Beitbridge side also had former Warriors defender Itai Gwandu, John Kapenya, Irvine Tinarwo and Edmore Chapfungamoyo in their line-up.
Kapenya seemed to have given up on a professional soccer as he spent the better part of last year playing for social side, Amavevane.
M Diya, I Mapuranga, D Ndlovu (P Moyo, 57th minute), H Moyo, B Tshuma, H Madzivanyika, D Sibanda (L Ncube,57th minute), H Masuku (M Mambare, 57th minute), M Ncube (C Dube, 88th minute), K Mutizwa (O Zibande, 69th minute), N Ncube (C Malaba, 69th minute)
T Mafunga (D Mutau, 55th minute), O Chove, I Gwandu, S Dube, J Kapenya (T Mukondwa, 79th minute), E Chapfungamoyo (M Mavhuto, 75th minute), I Tinarwo (P Makanje, 57th minute), A Kazembe (T Mamvura, 55th minute), W Chingodza, N Maroto (A Marime, 55th minute), A Makiwa (P Sibanda, 79th minute).