Striker Stanley Ngala was the hero for Bulawayo giants Highlanders after scoring the solitary goal they needed to beat rivals Dynamos 1-0 to clinch the 2022 Independence Day Trophy at Barbourfields Stadium on Monday.
Ngala smashed home the winner with a powerful close-range effort after 54 minutes to give the Bulawayo side the much-needed advantage in a tense encounter watched by a capacity crowd.
The goal briefly led to a stoppage as irate Dynamos fans rained missiles onto the field of play.
After play finally resumed Bosso put on a solid defensive effort to hold on up to the end to get their revenge against a side that beat them 2-0 in last year’s Independence trophy.
After overcoming a slow start to the encounter Highlanders were clearly the better side on the day as they dominated possession and created the better opportunities while Dynamos relied on counter attacks.
With lucrative prize money at stake courtesy of a sponsorship package by energy giants Sakunda, the players left everything on the field of play.
Dynamos finished the match with 10 men after midfielder Shadreck Nyahwa was shown a red card after 82 minutes for a dangerous tackle on Mbongeni Ndlovu.
Nyahwa’s flying boot which landed on Ndlovu’s head led to a brief stoppage as players pushed and shoved each other leading to the intervention of the police to cool down the tempers.
In the end, Highlanders held on for a morale-boosting win.
Bosso walked away with a cool US$30 000 for winning the trophy, in addition to the $6 million they will receive from the organisers while the losing finalists Dynamos wil get a US$9 000 consolation.
There are US$1 500 cash prizes each for Man of the Match, top goal scorer and the goalkeeper who will manage to keep a clean sheet.
The winning coach Mandla Mpofu will receive US$2 250 while his assistants will share US$6 000.