HomeSportSoccerDeMbare, Bosso ready for big clash

DeMbare, Bosso ready for big clash

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IT’S that time of the year again when domestic football fans witness one of games’s most emotive occasions as Bulawayo giants Highlanders visit the capital to face old enemy Dynamos in a Castle Lager Premiership tie on Sunday.

TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

Encounters between Zimbabwe’s biggest teams have always been feisty and it is one of the matches that will be televised live on Supersport.

Highlanders go into the match haunted by the ghost of failure to defeat their nemesis for eight years.

One would have to dig deeper into the archives to find the last time Highlanders beat Dynamos in a league match.

You have to go back to July 2 2006 when Bosso made the trip to the capital and triumphed 1-0 and then followed that up with a convincing 2-0 win at Barbourfields on July 30 2006 in a memorable campaign which culminated in them being crowned champions —  the last time they laid their hands on the ultimate prize of domestic football.

DeMbare have won seven of the 14 league matches that have been played, with the other seven ending in draws.

The two sides last met on October 27 last year at Barbourfields with the champions emerging 1-0 victors, again with the reverse fixture in Harare having ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

While those statistics sound unpleasant to the Highlanders faithful, it gives Kevin Kaindu’s men the resolve as they seek to break the long-standing hoodoo which would enhance their chances of lifting the championship this time around.

Bosso were last season cruelly denied the championship after they were beaten to the championship on the finishing line on goal difference in a very close race in which Harare City were also part of the equation.

While their championship dream was buried on that last day of the league programme, its death took place on October 27 — the day they lost 1-0 to Dynamos.

But Highlanders can draw inspiration from the fact that they are the team of the moment as they are unbeaten in 11 matches which has catapulted them to second place on the league table with 21 points–one point behind log leaders Hwange.

Kaindu’s men are buoyed by the recovery of Mamelodi Sundowns-bound forward Kuda Mahachi after he limped off with a shin injury against Triangle last Sunday in a 1-1 draw at Gibbo.

Mahachi, who is on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns, is reported to be responding well to treatment and could be playing his last match for Bosso before he joins the Brazilians for their pre-season training on Monday.

Peter Moyo and Milton Ncube, who are also set to join Mpumalanga Black Aces and Ajax Cape Town respectively, are too expected to feature for the big battle before leaving for pre-season training.

In contrast, Dynamos have had a sluggish start to the campaign and are in fifth place with 19 points from the same number of matches having lost five matches already.

What is most worrying is that they have lost some of the matches to Premiership sides Buffaloes, ZPC Kariba and Chapungu and Hwange, all by 1-0 scorelines.

And as they go into battle against Bosso, they are low on confidence.

But team manager Richard Chihoro remains confident.

“We need to raise our game as we meet Highlanders. An encounter against Highlanders is like a meeting with Caps United. They are never easy games and the fact that they are still unbeaten up to now speaks a lot about their form. Of course, it has been a long time since they beat us, but there is always a first time and they will also be eager to brandish all those disappointments,” said Chihoro.

The Dynamos team manager believes they could have drawn against Hwange had the coalminers not been given what he described as a “dubious penalty” although they have to be reminded they also won a similar penalty against FC Platinum in Harare.

Dynamos will be looking to forceful forward Anesu Gondo, who has now recovered from injury and featured in the 1-0 defeat to Hwange.

But midfielders Devon Chafa and Masimba Mambare are still battling for fitness.

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