Football greats have predicted a mouth-watering tie in Bulawayo when Highlanders take on league champions Motor Action in a BancABC Sup8r Cup final at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.
Former Highlanders player, chairman and ex-Warriors manager Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda said the fact Bulawayo last hosted a cup final a long time ago makes this match special.
“Bulawayo has been missing this kind of football for a very long time. It is going to be a fun day. I would like to thank the sponsors for spreading the game across the country,” Sibanda said.
Maphepha, who played for Bosso in the 1980s, said the Mighty Bulls are in top form, but Highlanders would turn the tables on Saturday.
Motor Action have beaten Highlanders back-to-back in the 2011 Castle Lager Premiership and have always been a hard nut to crack for the Bulawayo giants.
“It is going to a very exciting and tight match. Motor Action have been playing good football, but I think this time Bosso are going to make it,” Maphepha said.
Former Arcadia United midfielder and Warriors player Hamid “Muzukuru” Dhana predicted a thriller.
A dribbling linkman during his heyday, Dhana said the Saturday match would be a battle for supremacy between Bosso and the Mighty Bulls.
“I wish I could come down to Bulawayo to witness that match. It’s definitely going to be a thriller and I am putting my money on Motor Action. I used to enjoy playing at Barbourfields during my time. It was special,” Dhana said.
Another former Highlanders player who used to score beautiful headers for the Bulawayo squad during his time in the 1980s, Amin Soma-Phiri, said the match should inspire Bosso in their championship campaign.
“It will be a very exciting match. Motor Action have always had the upper hand against Highlanders, but I don’t think this time around they will beat us. Highlanders have played tough games leading to the final. They are playing in front of their home crowd and this is not just any other match, it’s a money game. I wish Highlanders all the best and would like to say as former players, we are rallying behind them,” Soma-Phiri said.
Mike “Mabhurugwa” Abrahams, a former Arcadia United striker of the 1980s, said cup finals in Bulawayo always brought excitement.
Abrahams, now based in Bulawayo, predicted a win for Highlanders and warned Motor Action against relying on past glory.
“Well, it might be a 50-50 situation, but with the crowd behind Highlanders, Motor Action will have to be above average. Motor Action should not rely on the past. Highlanders have a point to prove. The fact that they have beaten Bosso back-to-back in the league might weigh against them. My sixth sense tells me Highlanders will win,” Abrahams said.