Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The prince impressed by two bosso players

THE Highlanders duo of Eric Mudzingwa and midfield hardman Mthulisi Maphosa impressed Jomo Sono on Sunday in their club's Castle Lager Premiership clash with Motor Action at Barbourfields Stadium. Sono was in the country on private business having flown into Bulawayo on Sunday morning.

In an interview, the South African soccer legend said he was in the city at the invitation of former Bosso chairman Themba Ndlela who is the vice-president of Zimtrade.

Soon after the interview yesterday, Sono rushed to Ingwebu Breweries with Ndlela for a business meeting before catching the midday flight back to Johannesburg.

"I am here on private business. We are working on setting up something here… you know he is the vice-president of Zimtrade. He invited me to the soccer match," said Sono who is regarded as the best player to emerge from Southern Africa in the last 40 years.

The former Orlando Pirates and New York Cosmos midfield magician said he was impressed by the Highlanders duo of Maphosa and Mudzingwa.

"I was impressed by the tall midfielder, he played well… I liked his aggression and positional sense, then there was also this tall central defender who partnered the captain, he is good.

"But that was not my mission to scout for talent. I will be coming regularly to Zimbabwe on business and also to watch local matches. I will be here for the derby between Highlanders and Chicken Inn," said Sono.

Maphosa played well in midfield winning most balls and initiating attacks with ease. Motor Action congested the midfield as they tried to throttle Highlanders' attacks but found Maphosa unyielding on a day usual livewire Peter "Rio" Moyo had a subdued game as he was not given space to strut his stuff.

Mudzingwa was the rock solid foundation for Bosso's three points. His usually reliable partner

Innocent Mapuranga did not come to the party. He probably had his worst game in Highlanders colours with his ill-timed tackles and poor returns on aerial balls.

Highlanders beat the visitors 2-1 to take their record unbeaten run to 20 matches.

"The Prince" as Sono was known during his glittering career, said Motor Action's Yves Ebabali and Godfrey Moyo had a good afternoon on the park.

"The Motor Action central defender and the Congolese are good players too," said the Jomo Cosmos owner.

He said the two teams played well and worked hard as units.

"The two teams did very well, they worked hard as units and showed a lot of discipline," said Sono.
Sono said he remembered playing in Zimbabwe in the mid 1970s against Dynamos. He said standards of the game then were very high compared to the modern day where coaches employ defensive systems with no flair. "Football then was good and exciting. It did not come anywhere close to what it is today. It's become too commercialised. Players are playing for the CVs and do not want to concede goals and lose. They forget we are in the entertainment industry…they want to win at all costs.

"I remember players like George Shaya, those were very good footballers. I however feel it might not be fair to draw a comparison with today because we were streets ahead," said the great star who played well into his early 40s.

Sono said among the best foreign players he had worked with at his clubs were Zimbabweans like Kennedy Nagoli, the only Zimbabwean to make the grade in Brazil, former Manchester City star, Benjani Mwaruwari, Bhekimpilo Ndlovu, Saruva Tshabalala of Sizinda, Ndaye Kalenge of the DRC and Chipolopolo captain Christopher Katongo.

"I have enjoyed working with some very good players from outside South Africa who include Benjani Mwaruwari, Bheki Ndlovu and Kennedy Nagoli. We will always be on the lookout for fresh talent from this country, they have a good work ethics," said the former Bafana Bafana coach.

Turning to his team's relegation to First Division, Sono promised fans that come next season Jomo Cosmos would be in the PSL
By sbue
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