NGEZI FC GUN FOR H’LANDERS
NGEZI Platinum have vowed to stop the Bosso juggernaut when the two sides collide at Barbourfields Stadium in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter tomorrow afternoon.
Highlanders have been invincible in their last five matches, brushing aside all that has come before them, including two impressive come-backs against Border Strikers and that famous win over arch rivals Dynamos, in the process breaking records.
Their win over Harare City in the capital on Thursday was a first against the Sunshine Boys in Harare since their promotion in 2012 while it was a first back to back win over Dynamos since 2006.
All these statistics however do not seem to mean anything for Ngezi Platinum who were early season relegation candidates until the arrival of Tonderayi Ndiraya and an injection of cash by the club’s principals that saw them raid the market during the second transfer window.
One of the players acquired from Dynamos during the second transfer window, talented midfielder Walter Mukanga says they are coming to Bulawayo for business and not planning to lose the match.
“We are not coming there to lose a match,” said Mukanga who is nevertheless doubtful as he only started training on Thursday due to a knee injury. He has been very influential to the Ndiraya squad and if he makes it into the travelling party, the platinum miners might live true to their threats.
Mukanga said the intimidating atmosphere at Barbourfields Stadium will have little effect on their performance.
“I am not scared about the atmosphere at BF partly because I grew up in Bulawayo and secondly we always prevailed when I was with Dynamos. Yes the atmosphere can be intimidating if you are not used to it but we are more than ready,” said Mukanga.
They have only lost once in Bulawayo from their four visits so far, 0-1 to Bulawayo City but their other visits has seen them draw 0-0 against defending champions Chicken Inn, beat Tsholotsho 2-0 while How Mine suffered a 1-2 loss.
Ngezi Platinum suffered a heavy 1-4 loss at home to Bosso in the reverse fixture.
Highlanders coach Erol Akbay on Thursday told Chronicle Sport that they have not diverted from their declaration that every match now is a must-win for them.
“Like we said recently all the remaining matches are cup finals for us which we must win, it doesn’t matter who our opponents are,” said Akbay.
He said what was important for them was to remain focused and not get carried away as that might see them make silly but deathly mistakes.
“The guys have been told to remain focused and avoid being carried away as we march towards our targets and I must say that so far I am happy with the players, they are more professional now than they were earlier into the season. It’s a marvel to see them go about their business, which is what I want,” said Akbay. The match will be beamed live on SuperSport. At Ascot Stadium luckless Bulawayo City will be hoping for a change of fortunes against Chapungu this afternoon.
Bulawayo City were unlucky to lose to Triangle United in a midweek encounter at Barbourfields Stadium in their last league match with goalkeeper Ndodana Sibanda gifting the visitors with a priceless second goal which proved to be the match winner.
At the Colliery, Hwange will be eager to compound relegation candidates Border Strikers’ misery tomorrow although the presence of Luke Masomere on the visitors’ bench might unsettle the coalminers.
Soccer Star of the Year finalist favorite Gift Mbweti will lead the Mebelo Njekwa coached Hwange’s strike force. — @skhumoyo2000.
Tonderayi Ndiraya Erol Akbay