Pride at stake for Bosso

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Soccer Sport Sport - Mehluli Sibanda Se­nior Sports Re­porter

BY their own stan­dards, High­landers have had an ap­palling sea­son in the Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer with the Bu­l­awayo giants look­ing cer­tain to fin­ish out­side the top four come the end of the sea­son.

High­landers have blown hot and cold the whole sea­son and were beaten 3-1 by Caps United in a mid­week fix­ture at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium last Thurs­day, in what was their 11th loss of the sea­son. High­landers face Black Rhi­nos at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium this af­ter­noon in a match where noth­ing but pride is at stake. Bosso fin­ished third last sea­son in Erol Ak­bay’s first sea­son with the club but this year, in the coach’s last dance with Amahlolanyama, top four has eluded them. With five matches left to play, High­landers have to fight hard to try over­take How Mine in sixth place and Caps United who are fifth. Black Rhi­nos clob­bered High­landers 3-0 when the two teams met for the first time this sea­son in June. Chipem­bere are also fight­ing hard to fin­ish the sea­son in the top eight, which should make to­day’s en­counter even more ex­cit­ing.

High­landers have shown a lot of in­con­sis­tency in re­cent weeks which has seen them win when its least ex­pected. From a 4-0 drub­bing they handed out to ti­tle con­tenders Chicken Inn and the 3-1 tri­umph over Tri­an­gle away. Ak­bay said he was an­tic­i­pat­ing a tough bat­tle against the army side see­ing they came out sec­ond best the last time the two teams met. De­spite that, Ak­bay de­clared that they were gun­ning for vic­tory.

“They have beaten us be­fore that means they are very dif­fi­cult but we are go­ing for a win,’’ he said.

Black Rhi­nos had a su­perb run at the start of the sea­son and at some stage were on top of the log. How­ever, things have gone awry for the Stan­ford Mu­tizwa coached side with their last win hav­ing come a month ago when they de­feated Hwange 2-0 away from home which is their only win in their last 10 league en­coun­ters.

High­landers have to do with­out left back Hon­est Moyo, who is ruled out by a ham­string in­jury which means Charlton Sia­ma­longa is likely to slot into that po­si­tion. The Bosso de­fence, jit­tery for most parts of the sea­son has to be at its best to deal with the threat posed by Lot Chi­wunga, who is one of the league’s top scor­ers for this sea­son.

Si­mon Mu­nawa has been out­stand­ing of late for High­landers with four goals in three matches and the up­right de­nied him in the mid­week fix­ture against Caps United. If Mu­nawa could com­bine well with the likes of King Nadolo, Gabriel Ny­oni, God­frey Makaruse, Ralph Matema, Rah­man Kut­sanzira, Brian Banda and Ray Lunga, then the long suf­fer­ing Bosso fans could have some­thing to smile about this af­ter­noon.

In other fix­tures lined up for this af­ter­noon, Tsholot­sho will look to boost their chances of sur­vival when they clash with al­ready de­moted Bantu Rovers. Sha­banie Mine, also fight­ing to stay up are at home against Tri­an­gle while Caps United, math­e­mat­i­cally still in with a chance de­fend their ti­tle go up against Hwange, who are rooted third from bot­tom.

Fix­tures To­day: Tsholot­sho v Bantu Rovers (Dulivhadz­imu), Sha­banie Mine v Tri­an­gle United (Ma­glas), High­landers v Black Rhi­nos (Bar­bour­fields), Caps United v Hwange (Na­tional Sports Sta­dium)

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