Bosso wary of How Mine

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

HIGH­LANDERS want to avoid the dreaded penalty shootout in their Chibuku Su­per Cup quar­ter-fi­nal clash with city neigh­bours How Mine at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Bosso coach Erol Ak­bay has pre­dicted a tightly con­tested match against the gold min­ers, whom he said are no pushovers, and has de­manded max­i­mum con­cen­tra­tion from his charges.

The Dutch coach said the fact that they beat How Mine back-to-back in the league this sea­son counts for noth­ing go­ing into the cup game. He is also hop­ing that the gold min­ers, who knocked Dy­namos out in the first round, will not use a de­fen­sive ap­proach.

How Mine beat Dy­namos 5-4 on penal­ties and Ak­bay wants his boys to se­cure victory in reg­u­la­tion time.

“In cup games, you get only one chance to win, that’s why you’ve to be more fo­cused. How Mine are very dif­fi­cult to beat. Ev­ery­one has a prob­lem beat­ing them. We beat them twice, but it was not an easy job and play­ing them now will be even tougher. If they play like Ngezi Plat­inum with 10 men be­hind the ball, it will be dif­fi­cult to cre­ate chances. I hope they (How Mine) will open the game and avoid penal­ties. I un­der­stand that be­ing de­fen­sive is part of foot­ball tac­tics, but I want us to win the game in 90 min­utes,” said Ak­bay.

“Ob­vi­ously as a coach you work on ev­ery­thing so that you win the tour­na­ment. You can train play­ers on tak­ing penal­ties, but what is im­por­tant is not to al­low the game to go to penal­ties, which is why I said we have to try to win the match in 90 min­utes.”

High­landers booked their quar­ter-fi­nal slot a fort­night ago when they knocked Mutare City 2-1 at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium. An own goal by Mutare City de­fender Mun­yaradzi Sako and a Ralph Matema strike were enough for Bosso to sail through, while their op­po­nents scored through Agrippa Murimba.

Ak­bay, who has seen his team get­ting last gasp wins of late, is wor­ried about this growing trend.

“We’ve shown char­ac­ter to fight and win games com­ing from be­hind, but I’m not happy with that be­cause it puts us un­der pres­sure. It forces us to make tac­ti­cal changes as we try to win the games and go­ing for­ward I will be happy if we lead and main­tain that lead for the en­tire game,” he said.

High­landers will bank on goal­keeper Ariel Sibanda, de­fend­ers Peter Muduhwa and Tendai Ndlovu, skip­per Felix Chin­dungwe, Rah­man Kut­sanzira and Si­mon Mu­nawa to con­trol their mid­field, while Prince Dube and Nh­lanhla Ndlovu will lead their strike force.

How Mine will be hop­ing goal­keeper Dono­van Bernard, the back­line of Vic­tor Kamhuka, Praise Tonha, Qadr Amini and Tapiwa Khum­buyani can stand firm.

Zam­bian Mukundika Sakala will play as an an­chor­man for the gold min­ers, with Pasca Man­hanga, Ti­mothy Jan­uary ex­pected to do bat­tle in the mid­field, while Mil­ton Ncube and Ti­nashe Makanda will be de­ployed to hunt for goals.

It is in the mid­field where the bat­tle will be won and the team that dom­i­nates that depart­ment is likely to ad­vance to the next stage of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Both teams like po­si­tional dom­i­nance and are pa­tient with their build-ups from the back.

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