Pride at stake for Bosso
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)