The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS coach, Hendrik Pieter de Jongh has only been in his job for just a month but there is something that has not taken him time to figure out, that is the meaning of the clash between Bosso and Dynamos.
The two most supported teams in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clash at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon in what promises to be a blockbuster, with three points at stake. De Jongh is well aware that the match between Highlanders and Dynamos is the biggest encounter in Zimbabwe football. The Dutchman likened the fixture to the Barcelona versus Real Madrid or Bayern Munich taking on Borussia Dortmund. His first official match in charge of Highlanders saw him face Dynamos in a Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final clash in Harare, a match Bosso won 1-0.
“Sunday I know it’s a clash that I know from my experience that it has everything possible, I know what it is, it’s a big match for the fans, for the club of course.”
The Dutchman is also aware that in such fixtures, anything is possible with no guaranteed winners. He is eager to see Bosso finish in a better position on the log.
“In these kind of matches anything is possible, we come from good results, it’s not easy because Dynamos have a lot of draws. The mood is good, we are in the right direction, we look in the league for a nice position on the log,’’ De Jongh said.
The Dutchman was on Thursday fuming at what he felt was unfair treatment by the PSL seeing that they are playing three matches in just a week.
“We played today (Thursday), why not yesterday? Dynamos played yesterday, they have shorter distance to travel. We play one day later, we play away on Sunday, PSL needs to exercise fairness on Highlanders, that’s my feeling,’’ he said.
Highlanders have dominated their opponents since they broke the 10-year jinx in 2016. Since then, DeMbare have only claimed three points against Bosso via the boardroom after they were awarded the abandoned fixture at Barbourfields Stadium in 2017.
With the way Highlanders are playing of late since the arrival of De Jongh, it is difficult to see how Dynamos will manage to avoid defeat against their bitter rivals.
Highlanders have won four of their last league matches, with the other two concluding in stalemates. Dynamos on the other hand are a struggling lot, with the Glamour Boys having last won a game at the end of August when they beat Herentals 3-2. DeMbare have drawn 15 of their 28 league matches.
Ariel Sibanda will look for clean sheet number 15 for this season after failing to prevent the opponents from scoring in the 3-1 triumph over Yadah last Thursday. He has had good cover from defenders Andrew Mbeba, Peter Muduhwa, Mbongeni Ndlovu and MacClive Phiri. Nqobizitha Masuku has been brilliant at defensive link, which has allowed Brian Banda, Adrian Silla and Denzel Khumalo to create goal scoring opportunities.
Star striker Prince Dube misses the match as he serves his second and last match suspension for being sent off against ZPC Kariba. While Highlanders would have been wondering where the goals were going to come from with Dube absent, the way Bosso destroyed Yadah should have allayed those concerns.
Tinashe Makanda has shown that he can deliver, having scored in the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final clash with FC Platinum and again found the target against Yadah. Even the forgotten Godfrey Makaruse, who has not seen much game time this season scored a brilliant goal after left back Ndlovu had opened the scoring. Dynamos will bank on the likes of Simbarashe Chinani, Emmanuel Jalai, Godfrey Mukambi, Evans Katema, Godknows Murwira and Tinotenda Muringai in their bid to stop Highlanders.