HIGHLANDERS will be seeking to banish the ghosts of Mucheke Stadium when they clash with Buffaloes in the quarter-finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup tomorrow afternoon.
The match will be screened live on SuperSport 9 at 1500hrs.
The last time Highlanders were at Mucheke, they performed woefully, losing 3-1 to FC Platinum on penalties in the BancABC Sup8r Cup and must find a way past a stubborn Buffaloes side.
Last week, Highlanders picked up a point against Buffaloes in a 1-1 stalemate at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare to add to on their triumph over Platinum in midweek and the first round win over Triangle in the cup competition.
With coach Kelvin Kaindu due to leave for the United Kingdom at the end of the month for his Uefa B coaching licence, a perfect goodbye will be best for Highlanders.
New find Gabriel Nyoni, who has scored three times in the last four matches and the return of forceful veteran Njabulo Ncube — whose brace sunk Platinum — is also a reminder to Buffaloes that they cannot afford to take the former champions lightly in this million-dollar cup.
On the other hand, Buffaloes’ Steven Sibanda’s 11 goals this season has left him a marked man and will have to find a way past Bosso defender and skipper Innocent Mapuranga and impressive goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya.
The former champions have taken four points off the soldiers this season after thumping them 3-0 in the reverse fixture in Bulawayo before last week’s draw.
The action, however, starts this afternoon with Harare City engaging Hwange at Dulibadzimu Stadium — the home of Tripple B Football Club.
City edged Monomotapa 1-0 in the first round at Rufaro Stadium, while Hwange, who are battling against relegation in the Castle Premiership, beat FC Platinum by the same scoreline to reach the last eight.
No doubt City go into the match as favourites judging by current form as they sit in third position on the log with 41 points from 23 matches, while Hwange are languishing in 12th place with just 26 points-a huge 15 point difference.
But at the same time, City must not forget the 4-1 humiliation they suffered at the hands of Hwange at the Colliery in a reverse league fixture and think this afternoon’s match will be a stroll
in the park.
While having an indifferent season, Farai Vimisayi and veteran Gerald Ndlovu having been leading lights in Chipangano’s fight against survival from the Premiership and this being a knockout competition provides an opportunity to build some confidence in the team before league action resumes on Tuesday.