HomeSportSoccerHighlanders seek to stretch lead

Highlanders seek to stretch lead

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League leaders Highlanders will be seeking to stretch their lead in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League when they engage struggling city neighbours Quelaton at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow as the second half of the season gets underway.

With the reigning league champions Dynamos upping their game and rising in each of the outstanding games that they have played, the Bulawayo football giants, yet to lose a match in 15 matches, are hard-pressed for maximum points against their relegation-fighting neighbours.

Highlanders were held to a 1-1 draw by Quelaton in the reverse fixture at BF on July 15.

Bosso head coach Kelvin Kaindu said tomorrow’s match being a derby was tricky and his charges should guard against complacency.

“It is a derby and comes with a team at the top and the other at the bottom. It’s tricky because and every team wants to get maximum points this time around. We dropped points against them and we must not be complacent on Sunday (tomorrow). We know how we played last time and we have worked on our mistakes,” Kaindu said.

The Zambian national said he would miss the services of suspended players, midfielder Mthulisi Maphosa, striker Graham Ncube and defender Atlast Musasa, but said that happened in football and this would give other players a chance to prove themselves.

“We will definitely miss the services of the suspended players, but that will give a chance to the other guys that have not been playing, but otherwise everything seems to be well with us,” Kaindu said.

Bosso are on top of the log standings with 33 points from 15 matches with second-placed Shabanie Mine on 29 points taking on troubled Gunners at Maglas tomorrow and Dynamos on 27 points from 13 games travelling to Mandava Stadium for FC Platinum today.

In the absence of Maphosa, Peter “Rio” Moyo, who has been outstanding for Highlanders, is likely to take charge in the middle of the park, while Beaven Chikaka is likely to start upfront.

Bosso registered two virtually unknown players in the transfer market, Cleopas Dube and Takunda Sadiki. Either Lawson Nkomo or Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu will replace Musasa on the right-back with Bruce Kangwa having settled well on the left.

At Quelaton, former Bosso striker Simba Rusike, the assistant coach could be in charge tomorrow as head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube, who watched training yesterday is not feeling well.
Rusike said tomorrow would be the beginning of Quelaton’s fight against the chop from top-flight football.

“I have done my homework and we are prepared for them. We are not scared of Highlanders but we just respect them. I promise the Quelaton supporters a good result on Sunday (tomorrow).
We have to start collecting maximum points and that starts with Highlanders. Except for the suspension worries over goalkeeper Winston Chiwetu and Proud Zireni, we are injury-free and raring to go. We are not in a mood to lose any match,” Rusike said.

Tapiwanashe Marime, who joined Quelaton from Hardbody, is likely to replace Chiwetu with veteran striker Chipo Tsodzo expected to trouble the Highlanders defence of captain Innocent Mapuranga and impressive Erick Mudzingwa.

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