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Highlanders, Platinum in narrow wins as Dynamos draw

Highlanders returned to winning ways after a Brian Banda free-kick in the second-half secured a vital 1-0 win over derby rivals Bulawayo City in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League on Thursday.

The victory ended a poor run of one win in five matches for Bosso, who remain third in the standings with 25 points, 10 behind log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Highlanders coach Madinda Nldovu had a full strength squad to count on for a change, with the impressive quartet of Brian Banda, Adrian Silla, Ben Musaka and Godfrey Makaruse manning the midfield and seizing control of proceedings earlier on.

However, there were little by way of meaningful breakthroughs against a stubborn opponent who defended in numbers, and it took a brilliant free-kick from Banda to break the deadlock with a quarter of an hour to play.

The victory will prove a huge morale booster for Bosso ahead of the weekend fixture at home to Chapungu in another winnable yet potentially tricky assignment.

In Zvishavane, second-placed FC Platinum battled to a 1-0 win over Nichrut to remain three points behind title rivals Ngezi.

This year's title battle may already be a battle between the two platinum teams going into matchday 13, and many were eager to see just how Norman Mapeza's team would follow up on their superb showing in the 2-0 win over Dynamos on Sunday.

The former Warriors captain kept his starting eleven intact for the clash against the newcomers, but any hopes of a goal glut were to prove misplaced as Winston Mhango's penalty at the stroke of half-time was to prove the only moment the Nichrut defence was breached.

On Wednesday, Ngezi had conjured their own narrow escape after midfielder Walter Mukanga netted on 67 minutes to give the paces-setters a 1-0 win at Chapungu.

Coach Tonderai Ndiraya will have also been elated to see his team make it 11 clean sheets in 13 matches, with goalkeeper Donovan Bernard having conceded just two goals since the beginning of the season.

Meanwhile, the situation at Dynamos remains desperate, with the former champions needing to come from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw against Black Rhinos at Rufaro Stadium.

Questions will be asked about the manner in which coach Biggie Zuze shuffled his pack following Sunday's embarrassment at the hands of Platinum, with Quality Kangadze rising from the bench to save the day with a 56th-minute equaliser.

Farai Banda had put Rhinos in front on 20 minutes.

This was a match Dynamos desperately needed to win, and the result saw them drop into 11th place as they await the visit of Herentals on Sunday.

CAPS United fans are smiling again after a clinical 3-0 win over ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium.

John Zhuwawo scored either side of a Denver Mukamba penalty as the Green Machine registered their first win in five matches to rise one place up into sixth.

Fourth-placed Chicken Inn also ended their own dry spell following a 2-0 triumph against neighbours Bulawayo Chiefs.

Two first-half goals from defender Guide Goddard and young striker Obriel Chirinda proved adequate to give the 2015 champions a sixth win in 13 matches.

Mark Harrison's Harare City beat Shabanie Mine 2-1 for a fourth win in five matches to emerge from matchday 13 fixtures in fifth place.

Wilfred Muvirimi thrust City ahead moments after the break, and Shabanie were further punished by one of their own as Nyasha Mpofu converted a Tatenda Tumba free-kick past his own goalkeeper.

David Temwanjira then scored what proved to be a mere consolation for Shabanie 10 minutes from time.

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