Bosso out to keep double hopes alive
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.