RELEGATION-threatened Hardbody are hoping to be party spoilers for title-chasers Highlanders when the two sides clash in a Castle Lager Premiership football match at Ascot Stadium tomorrow.
REPORT BY FORTUNE MBELE SPORTS REPORTER
The Midlands outfit gaffer Godfrey Tamirepi yesterday said although coming from a 5-1 massacre from fellow relegation-fighting Hwange at the Colliery on Sunday, he was confident Hardbody could upset Bosso. They still have a chance of surviving the chop.
Hardbody are second from the bottom of the log standings with 23 points, having three remaining tough encounters against Highlanders tomorrow, Black Mambas in Harare, before hosting defending champions Dynamos back at Ascot.
The Gweru side can only reach 32 points if they win these tricky encounters and their survival borders on the performances of Black Mambas and Hwange in their last matches, as the two clubs’ continued existence in the league for next season will rest in their last three games.
“We are left with three matches — one against Highlanders, who are fighting for the championship, Black Mambas who are fighting relegation and the last against title contenders Dynamos. Our boys were frustrated by poor officiating in Hwange although we played well.
“We need players of nerve on Sunday (tomorrow) and we will try our level best to get the best result against Highlanders. We are determining our own fate; we have regrouped after the Wednesday defeat and generally the boys are looking fine.
“We want to maintain the way we have played at home since I took over in the second round of the season. We only once to Buffaloes (2-0) at Ascot in the second half of the season and we want to maintain that good record,” Tamirepi said.
Hardbody have in camp former Highlanders midfielder Stephen Alimenda, who moved from Caps United, Andrew Chuma, captain Brian Juru, Dumisani Mufudze, Jacob Muzokomba, Owen Motsi and Nhlanhla Ncube, as they plot Highlanders’ downfall.
Highlanders are chasing the title which they last won in 2006. They kept the race open with a 1-0 home victory against Buffaloes on Wednesday and they trail Dynamos by two points.
Coach Kelvin Kaindu yesterday said they were ready for the Midlanders they beat 5-3 in a tightly contested match at Barbourfields in April.
The Zambian national said the title was getting closer and more difficult with the last three matches, but he believed the championship would be decided on the last day.
“I think we are alright and we are ready. It’s (the title) just getting closer and closer and even harder and harder. But like I have always said the championship will be decided on the last day, the last game and in the last minutes. Highlanders supporters have been behind the team — they have played a big role and have been a driving force in the well-being of the team,” Kaindu said.