HIGHLANDERS captain Rahman Kutsanzira says the point picked in the 1-1 draw against traditional rivals Dynamos in a Castle Lager Premiership match on Sunday has boosted their confidence after a spate of dreadful results which threatened to plunge their campaign into an irretrievable nose dive.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The Bosso skipper, however, voiced his concern in the way the match was handled by the referee, Arnold Ncube, who appeared to be overwhelmed by the occasion, making wrong calls on several occasions.
The match official was roundly criticised for failing to stamp his authority on the game. Highlanders felt Ncube gave them a raw deal after waving away a penalty appeal after Godfrey Makaruse appeared to have been fouled by Pakamani Dube and received a yellow card for simulation. They also protested Christian Ntouba’s second-minute goal, arguing the Cameroonian was in an offside position when he connected with a diving header, a freekick by Ocean Mushure.
Television replays, however, showed he was on-side when the kick was taken. Dynamos on the other hand felt Benson Phiri, who scored the equaliser, should not have been on the pitch when he scored the leveller for Highlanders on the hour mark having committed a dismissible foul earlier on.
“The draw against Dynamos has given us confidence going forward. I think against Chapungu we played very well, we are getting there, it’s just a matter of time. We just didn’t convert our chances, but I think overall, we played very well. It was a tough game, very physical and we had a good performance, but I thought that (Makaruse incident) was a clear penalty.”
This was corroborated by his coach Erol Akbay who said: “I am waiting to see when a referee will give a penalty. I was at a division one match, I saw two feet getting together. The referee didn’t even give a yellow card. This is the same situation. Yes, but how hard do you have to fall before you get a penalty?”
Dynamos missed the opportunity to claim top spot after log leaders Chicken Inn had stumbled against Yadah FC earlier on Saturday.
The Glamour Boys lie third on the league table with 49 points, two off the pace, but have played two games less compared to leaders Chicken Inn and FC Platinum.
But for Highlanders, the draw lifted their spirits following a run of poor results.