The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
IN England we have the noisy neighbours in reference to Manchester City, a term coined by the legendary Alex Ferguson.
Manchester City were for years unknown as their neighbours Manchester United dominated the English game. With financial backing from their owner, Sheikh Mansour, one of football’s wealthiest owners are now enjoying success while their neighbours are singing the blues. For Sheikh Mansour, Chiefs have Lovemore Sibanda whose purse keeps things going at the Nilton Terosso-coached side.
The same also applies to Bulawayo Chiefs who make so much noise on social media. With over 67 000 followers on Twitter, Chiefs make a lot of noise on the microblogging and social networking service. Sadly, unlike City, Chiefs have nothing much to show for all the noise they make on social media.
Amakhosi Amahle went on a buying spree at the beginning of the year but that has not translated into results on the field of play. Chiefs two weeks ago ended a seven-match winless streak when they beat Whawha 1-0, a win they followed up with a similar triumph over Bulawayo City.
This afternoon, those “noisy” neighbours face Highlanders, who enjoy the status of not only being the biggest team in Bulawayo but one of the massive as well as most followed in the country.
Highlanders have found the going tough against Bulawayo opponents this season with just a point collected from their city rivals in two matches played so far. That solitary point came last Sunday against high-flying Chicken Inn while they suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Bulawayo City at the end of February.
Johnfat Sibanda, the Highlanders chairman declared at the start of the season that Bosso were gunning for the title after receiving sound sponsorship from Sakunda Holdings. If Bosso, who are 14 points from Dynamos, who are also bankrolled by Sakunda Holdings are to be counted as championship contenders, they have to start winning matches against the likes of Chiefs.
Failure to collect maximum points this afternoon will see them fall further from the teams at the top as Dynamos have what looks like an easy encounter against bottom-placed Bulawayo City. What more with the giants of Zimbabwean football (Highlanders and Dynamos) set to collide in what promises to be a blockbuster at Emagumeni next Sunday, Highlanders coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu needs to win this afternoon to go into that massive fixture with a lot of confidence.
Chiefs have in their books a number of seasoned players, the likes of Kelvin Madzongwe, Perfect Chikwende, the Moyo twins, Kevin and Elvis and Obriel Chirinda who are all capable of giving Highlanders a hard time.
The biggest let-down for Highlanders has been the strike force, with Stanley Ngala seemingly weighed down by playing for a big team. Ngala is yet to gel with Lynoth Chikuhwa and Washington Navaya to give the opposition defence a torrid time.
Last Sunday, Godfrey Makaruse, making a rare start found the goal for Tshilamoya in a 1-1 draw with Chicken Inn.
While the strikers have been struggling, the Bosso midfield has been outstanding with Adrian Silla, Devine Mhindirira, Rahman Kutsanzira and Nqobizitha Masuku putting their hands up together with Peter Muduhwa, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Andrew Mbeba as well as Andrew Tandi doing a good job of shielding Ariel Sibanda. — Follow on Twitter @Mdawini_29