New Highlanders coach Baltemar Jose de Oliveira got off to a perfect start when his charges beat a determined Black Rhinos 3-2 in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie in a weekend that saw collapsing giants Caps United suffer their seventh straight defeat.
In the match at Barbourfields stadium, Highlanders saw the visitors twice cancel their lead but it took an 83rd minutes effort by double scorer Lynoth Chikuhwa to earn the Bulawayo side the much-needed three points.
Highlanders took the lead after 37minutes when an unmarked Stanley Ngala got to the end of a Muziwakhe Dhlamini corner but the visitors cancelled the Bosso lead through a 41st minute effort by Farai Banda.
The hosts restored their lead three minutes later through a Chikuhwa goal to go to the breather with the slender advantage.
Rhinos levelled the scores after 69 minutes through an Eli Ilunga effort but Chikuhwa ensured they do not return to Harare with a point after he scored the winning goal for Highlanders.
In a match played at the National Sports Stadium, Caps United dominated the exchanges for almost the entire match but succumbed to a 63 minute own goal by defender Marshall Machazani to lose the match 1-0 to ZPC Kariba.
A disappointed Coach Lloyd Chitembwe said the defeat was his worst spell as a coach.
“Very disappointing result I must say. It’s probably the worst phase that I have gotten myself into and I don’t want to lie to you, I am extremely disappointed, very much deflated and at the same time feeling bad about everything,” Chitembwe said, adding that his charges dominated the exchanges but succumbed to what he said was a stupid mistake.
Winning coach Rodwell Dhlakama was happen with the result.
“Fortune favours the brave, the boys played with a lot of determination with a lot of conviction.
“They (Caps) created lots of chances but then failed to utilise them but then we got our chance, we utilised it. Massive points for us going forward,” Dhlakama said.
In other matches, champions FC Platinum beat home side Tenax 2-0 to stay within a point of log leaders Chicken Inn.
Triangle United shared the spoils with visiting Bulawayo Chiefs after the two sides drew 2-2.
Manica Diamonds beat home side Whawha by 1 goal to nil.