The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS will look to go beyond the first round of the Chibuku Super Cup when they clash with Yadah at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
Last year, Bosso were eliminated first hurdle of the country’s most rewarding club competition when they were beaten 2-1 by Harare City at Mandava Stadium. This is certainly not the humiliation that Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu is prepared to face when he takes on Yadah, a team that Bosso are also playing in the league at Emagumeni on Wednesday.
Ndlovu said he is not taking any chances against what is seen as a small team since they were beaten by other minnows, Mutare City Rovers in a league match at Vengere 11 days ago. The Bosso coach is aware that if they win just three matches they are in the final of the Chibuku Super Cup.
“We have to be very wary of these small teams, they can beat us regardless of what excuse we come up with, whether blame the ground, the result still stands that we were beaten by Mutare City and it’s a small team so we are not going to take those chances,’’ Ndlovu said.
The Chibuku Super Cup presents Highlanders with their only realistic chance of ending the season with some silverware since the championship is out of Bosso’s reach.
“Even if you are saying it’s a small team Yadah, to me it’s not because that’s the only thing we can fight for, the championship is out of reach now, it’s a matter of let’s try and get something that is within (our each), its three games and we are in the final,’’ the Bosso coach said.
Yadah did shock Highlanders when they defeated the Bulawayo giants 2-1 at Rufaro last year. This is certainly something Highlanders would like to avoid as they look to proceed to the next round. In the three encounters played between the two teams since 2017, each have won one apiece while the other match concluded in a draw.
Since the return of the famous Chibuku Cup in 2014, Highlanders have reached the semifinal twice, in 2014 and in 2016. In 2014, they were thrashed 3-0 by Harare City in the capital while two years later, it was Ngezi Platinum Stars who defeated Bosso 1-0 at Barbourfields.
Highlanders will most likely be without three key players, with defender Mbongeni Ndlovu, midfielder Adrian Silla and striker Tafadzwa Sibanda doubtful. Ndlovu and Sibanda are injured while Silla only returned to Bulawayo on Thursday from Harare where he had gone for his grandmother’s funeral.
Ariel Sibanda, MacClive Phiri, Honest Moyo, Peter Muduhwa, Tendai Ndlovu, Nigel Makumbe, Brian Banda, Newman Sianchali, Gabriel Nyoni and Denzel Khumalo have what it takes to send Bosso to the next round of the Chibuku Super Cup.
Yadah have the experience in the form of former Highlanders striker, Ralph Matema, ex midfield duo of Dynamos Cliff Sekete and Milton Makopa. Should the trio combine well with Byron Madzokere, Willard Kalongoda, Brian Chikwenya, Leeroy Mavhunga and Lincoln Zvasiya, then Highlanders are in for a hard time this afternoon.
In other Chibuku Super Cup fixtures lined up for this afternoon, Caps United face ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium with Triangle and Shabanie Mine squaring off at Gibbo.