Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

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

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