“Highlanders Targeted By Match Officials”: Baltemar Brito

Highlanders Football Club coach Baltemar Brito’s post-match comment that his team is being targeted by match officials and the league might draw the wrath of the Premier Soccer League.

After seeing his charges share spoils with Simba Bhora at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday, Brito felt that referee Allan Bhasvi and second assistant Michael Zulu of Hwange connived to frustrate his side, while praising his opponents for a good show.

Brito, who has been vocal in registering his disappointment on opponents who employ time wasting tactics, felt that Simba Bhora gave a good account of football before a satisfactory crowd.

A 79th minute decision by Zulu that Highlanders forward Lynoth Chikuhwa was offside when he headed in a McKinnnon Mushore cross from the right was one of the incidents that Brito felt his team was robbed of maximum points.

The Highlanders gaffer was not amused that Simba Bhora’s goalkeeper Simbarashe Chinani escaped without caution a 39th minute incident when he appeared to have used his hands to block a Godfrey Makaruse chip outside the box.

Bhasvi, who was perfectly positioned, let the game roll, much to Bosso team’s chagrin.

“We want to say congratulations to Simba. They came to play without delaying tactics and showed that this kind of football is what fans want. It’s a great show to watch. They’re not in a good place on the table but we need to clap hands for them because they wanted to play good football.

“Another one, we know that we’re playing against opponents and other circumstances because if you make a report of things that are happening first of all we had the Dynamos game cancelled. Secondly, Sheasham we played and now they ban the stadium.

Thirdly, the referee, no offside, no extra time, no penalty.

We’re playing against the system. So, we will try to do our best because we’re the warriors and the warriors always fight to the last minute.

If they don’t like Highlanders they should say,” said Brito.

Bosso started the match lively, getting into Simba Bhora’s box in the first minute but after a good build-up, Mushore hit the side net.

Highlanders dominated early stages of the game, with Simba Bhora coming out of their shell in the 17th minute when forward Ishamel Nyanhi turned Highlanders’ central defender Mbongeni Ndlovu inside out before taking a weak shot at goal.

Seconds later, Chinani came off his line to block a Makaruse chip with his hands outside the box, but referee Bhasvi let him go scot-free.

A minute before half-time, a perfectly positioned Bhasvi ignored Highlanders’ calls for a penalty indicating that the ball hit Simba Bhora’s Blessing Moyo’s stomach, not his hand inside the box. Chronicle

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