Shabanie Mine coach Luke Masomere has declared war on Highlanders when the two clubs meet in a BancABC Sup8r Cup semi-final clash at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
Masomere said today’s match was going to be a difficult game but was adamant they would be victorious although he reckons they are underdogs.
“It’s war against Highlanders. We have been training very hard for this match. Obviously Mkhuphali (Masuku) wants to win and I want to win as well. It is going to be a difficult game, but we really want to win it. We are starting as underdogs, but our strategy at the end of the day is to come out as victors,” the nomadic Masomere said.
Masomere, who plays his second match after securing the Shabanie Mine job, said morale was high in the Shabanie Mine camp although the team will be without striker Tarisai Rukanda, due to injury.
In his first assignment with the Midlands team, Masomere drew 1-1 with Shooting Stars in Harare.
Shabanie Mine have signed former Zimbabwe international and Orlando Pirates defender Zvenyika Makonese and Masomere said he was happy with his squad.
“Look, I got here three days before the window period closed and the management had said I could get players that I wanted, but I am satisfied with the team that I have,” Masomere said.
Shabanie Mine have in their ranks inspirational goalkeeper Roy Mazingi, Simon Shoko, Caleb Masocha, Tafadzwa Mombeshora and Jonathan Chitereki who could spoil Bosso’s day.
Highlanders’ youthful mentor Masuku said he would be happy to beat his former coach in a cup match.
Masomere coached Masuku at Amazulu when the Bulawayo team won the league championship in 2004.
“It is good to instil confidence to your boys when you play a big team like Highlanders. We are equally ready for the game and it would be good to beat my former boss,” Masuku said.
Highlanders welcome back Eric Mudzingwa who has been out due to a knee injury and will be missing the services of right-back Lawson Nkomo, who received his marching orders during the quarter-final match which Bosso won 1-0 against Caps United at Baghdad Stadium on June 26.
Captain Gilbert Banda, who scored the winner against the Green Machine, will be available as is midfielder Louis Matawu, who had a wonderful game when Bosso beat Zimbabwe Saints 2-0 in league match last week.
Masuku also has Rahman Kutsanzira, Gift Lunga, Arnold Tshuma, Graham Ncube, Bruce Kangwa, Bruce Tshuma and Simon Munawa as he looks ahead to this afternoon’s cup tie.
Highlanders already have the Independence Trophy on their shelf and a win today pits them against trailblazing Motor Action in the final of the BancABC Sup8r Cup.
The Mighty Bulls beat holders Dynamos 7-6 in another semi-final in Harare last Saturday.
Highlanders v Shabanie Mine (Barbourfields)
Dynamos v Black Mambas (Rufaro), Gunners v Shooting Stars (Lafarge), Masvingo v Caps United (Mucheke), Monomotapa v Blue Ribbon (Gwanzura), Hwange v Motor Action (Colliery)
Kiglon v Chicken Inn (Rufaro)
Shabanie Mine v Zimbabwe Saints (Maglas)