Bosso out to keep dou­ble hopes alive

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

HIGH­LANDERS will be out to keep their hopes of a league and cup dou­ble alive when they face Ngezi Plat­inum Stars in the semi-fi­nals of the Chibuku Su­per Cup at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Ngezi Plat­inum will no doubt be out for revenge fol­low­ing their back-to-back de­feats to Bosso in the league.

The Mhon­doro-based side par­tic­u­larly felt ag­grieved in their sec­ond league en­counter at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium which they lost 1-2 after Bosso were awarded a penalty, with the match dead­locked at 1-1. The plat­inum min­ers lost the first tie 1-4.

Ngezi Plat­inum coach Ton­derai Ndi­raya will be hop­ing to progress to the next stage by beat­ing High­landers in their back­yard.

Al­though the game will be played at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium, High­landers will be the away team in terms of sit­ting ar­range­ments.

How­ever, Ngezi will have to be at their best to stop Bosso’s 10-match win­ning streak in all com­pe­ti­tions.

“This is High­landers we are play­ing on Sun­day, they are a very good side. They are do­ing well both in the league and in the cup and will ob­vi­ously be at their best when we meet. But we have also done well to reach this stage and will not lose the match be­fore we play it,” Ndi­raya told Sport­sZone Zim­babwe yes­ter­day.

Ngezi Plat­inum will be look­ing to ex­pe­ri­enced de­fend­ers Part­son Jaure and Lib­erty Chako­roma, for­wards Don­ald Te­guru and Wash­ing­ton Pakamisa, as well as mid­field­ers James Ngu­luve and Walter Mukanga.

To reach the semi-fi­nals, Ngezi Plat­inum elim­i­nated Hwange 3-1 in the first-round and then clob­bered Tsholot­sho FC 4-1 in the quar­ter-fi­nals.

High­landers’ gaffer Erol Ak­bay wants to avoid the dreaded penalty shootout and is con­vinced that Ngezi Plat­inum will not just sit back in this game.

“Now we know how they play. They are a side that sits back and try to catch you on coun­ter­at­tacks. I hope just like us they will want to avoid penal­ties. We’re ready for them,” said Ak­bay.

Bosso will be without striker Nh­lanhla Ndlovu who picked up an in­jury dur­ing his team’s 3-1 win over Bu­l­awayo City.

High­landers will look to Cas­tle Lager Pre­mier Soccer League Rookie of the Year favourite Prince Dube, Gabriel Ny­oni and Ralph Matema to lead their at­tack.

As usual, goal­keeper Ariel Sibanda will start ahead of Njabulo Ny­oni and Pros­per Matutu, with Peter Muduhwa, Tendai Ndlovu, Hon­est Moyo and ei­ther Tendai Ngu­lube or Ben­son Phiri form­ing the back­line.

The club’s long­est serv­ing player Erick Mudz­ingwa, Si­mon Mu­nawa, play­maker Rahman Kut­sanzira and Allen Ga­hadzikwa will be ex­pected to sup­ply the strik­ers with scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

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