Bosso seek to end trophy drought

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Highlanders hope to end their cup drought and have promised to beat league champions Motor Action when they meet in the semi-final of the $25 000 Independence Cup at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.

The winner of the match faces either defending Dynamos or Gunners, who clash in the other semi-final on Saturday at Rufaro.

It has been a while since Bosso landed any silverware and secretary general Andrew Tapela on Thursday promised the multitude of Highlanders’ fans that the 2011 Independence Cup is going into the Bulawayo soccer giants’ “dusty” shelves.

“As Highlanders, we are humbled to be part of the tournament. It has actually been a cup drought for sure and our wish is to end that spell. We are focused on the tournament and we are going to bring that cup back to its home; it belongs to us,” Tapela said.

Bosso, coached by Mkhuphali Masuku, put up shoddy performance against Masvingo United in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match last weekend and a similar performance will see them falling against the Mighty Bulls, who are unbeaten this season having accounted for Dynamos 2-0 last Sunday.

However, the Bulawayo soccer giants will be pinning their hopes on their supporters who came in their numbers to witness the match against Masvingo.

Tapela took the chance to pay tribute to the supporters on players’ behalf.

“The boys were really appreciative of the support during the Masvingo match and they are saying thank you very much. Let us continue building from the noise we started with the Masvingo match to the Motor Action game. The fans should not despair,” Tapela said.

Motor Action owner Eric Rosen said his club was excited to be taking part in the Independence Cup.

“We are excited to be playing in the Independence Cup and as league champions we are coming down to Bulawayo to win. We are more interested in the trophy than anything else,” Rosen said.

The losing finalists in the cup will pocket $7 000, the third-placed team will walk away with $5 000 while number four will get $3 000.

The last time that the two sides met in the same competition was in the 2005 final when the Bulls, then under Rahman Gumbo, romped to a 2-0 win at Barbourfields.

Highlanders last won the cup in 2002 after beating Dynamos 3-1 in the final, having triumphed by the same scoreline, but in a penalty shootout in the 2001 final over the same opponents. In both years, Highlanders also won the league championship.

Since then, they have lost 2-1 to Black Rhinos and Dynamos in 2003 and 2004 respectively, 1-0 to Shooting Stars in 2008 and 2-0 to Dynamos last season.