Chaos … Outnumbered police retreat while being pursued by Highlanders fans at Barbourfields on September 9, 2023
Dynamos 2-0 Highlanders
BULAWAYO – Riotous Highlanders fans caused the abandonment of their match with Dynamos on Sunday after falling behind 2-0 at Barbourfields.
Trouble erupted seven minutes from halftime when two incidents saw tempers boil over, before Highlanders supporters stormed the pitch and fought running battles with the police.
Just five minutes after Dynamos netted their second from Frank Makarati’s well-placed header off a free kick, Highlanders forward Mckinnon Mushore went down in the box under a challenge but referee Allan Basvi was not convinced it was a penalty.
Mushore stayed down as play continued. The referee could have, but he had no obligation to stop play because Mushore did not have a head injury. Highlanders, who regained possession seconds later, also did not put the ball out of play to have Mushore attended to and attacked Dynamos again before Elsharma Farasi appeared to be brought down just outside the box.
When Basvi – a soldier – waved play on, Highlanders fans incensed with the decision threw plastic bottles on the pitch and other objects. Basvi and the players retreated to the dressing rooms just in time before Highlanders fans stormed the pitch, first from the Soweto end.
Police and marshals tried to calm the situation but they were outnumbered, and had to retreat a few times.
A ZimLive corresponded saw one injured police officer and one Dynamos fan was stretchered off into an ambulance after getting on the pitch to confront the Highlanders fans.
The crowd trouble went on past the 30 minutes allowed by Premier Soccer League rules for non-footballing incidents and Basvi ended the match.
The crowd trouble continued outside the stadium where our correspondent saw a Zanu PF vehicle with windows smashed.
Police lobbed teargas canisters at groups of fans leaving the stadium, and the smoke affected families at homes around the stadium.
Dynamos, who are playing their home matches at Barbourfields due to renovations at Rufaro and the National Sports Stadium, made a dream start to the match when Keith Madera squeezed in a header past Ariel Sibanda from a Donald Mudadi cross.
Highlanders rallied and created numerous chances to get level but were pinched at their heels when Dynamos doubled their lead after 33 minutes.
Basvi awarded a freekick to Dynamos outside the box after another disputed foul. Andrew Mbeba received a yellow card for his protests. Issa Sadiki took the freekick and floated the ball to the right of Sibanda’s goal where defender Frank Mukarati made a perfect connection with his head, finding the top corner.
Highlanders were on course for their third defeat of the season on the trot after losses to FC Platinum and Chicken Inn. But this was going to be a consequential one after they finally relinquished the summit of the Premier League to Ngezi Platinum who were 1-0 winners over Manica Diamonds on Saturday.
Inside a hushed Barbourfields, the players attempted to rally back but the two flashpoints brought proceedings to a premature end.
Highlanders are now set to face a heavy fine from the league, and the match will be awarded to Dynamos on a 3-0 score.
Referee Basvi has had a torrid few months after Black Rhinos reported him to the league in July after he awarded two second half penalties to Dynamos as they trailed at Bata Stadium. Dynamos went on to win 2-1.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Results
Dynamos 2-0 Highlanders (abandoned); Hwange 0-0 Simba Bhora; Yadah 1-0 Cranborne Bullets; FC Platinum 2-1 Caps United FC; Chicken Inn FC 1-1 Bulawayo Chiefs FC; Ngezi Platinum Stars FC 1-0 Manica Diamonds FC; Black Rhinos FC 1-1 Triangle United FC; ZPC Kariba FC 1-0 Herentals Colleg