HIGHLANDERS coach Kelvin Kaindu is ready to banish one of the worst results as the club’s boss in Saturday’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) clash with Harare City at Rufaro Stadium.
This fixture last year ended in a 4-0 humiliation for the Bulawayo football giants to effectively end their season which had by that time been looking very promising.
On that forgettable afternoon at the Mbare stadium, Nathan Ziwini scored twice and William Manondo and Silas Songani added the other goals in a match in which Highlanders goalie Munyaradzi Diya also saved a penalty.
Kaindu did not sit on the bench on the day as he had opted to travel to the United Kingdom for his Uefa B coaching licence course, leaving the team in the hands of the untested Bekithemba Ndlovu.
Many Highlanders faithfuls blamed Kaindu for “dumping” the club at that critical stage of the season, and up to now some still think that had they won that encounter, they could have gone all the way to win the title which eventually was won by Dynamos by a goal difference margin.
After the loss, Highlanders who were topping the log table with just a game remaining on the season, dropped to third, behind Dynamos who were on second due to a superior goal difference while Harare City were top going into the last game of the season.
While Bosso managed to win their last match and City fluffed the chance when they were held by Caps United, Dynamos nicked the title after beating Black Mambas.
Things are a little different now. There are still eight games to play so the Saturday match is far from a title decider.
Highlanders’ chief destroyer in that match Songani has left and is now plying his trade in Denmark, some of the many reasons why Kaindu could look forward to the Saturday match with great optimism.
“We lost that fixture last season but this is a totally new game,” said Kaindu.
“Every game is different and the best team on the day will win. There are games we won last year but went on to lose this year so last year’s result cannot determine the match that would be played on Saturday.
“We know Harare City are a tricky opponent and they play a fast game but we are preparing well and we are looking forward to a good game,” added Kaindu.
Kaindu said he has a number of injuries in his squad, but could not divulge the names for what he said is for “tactical reasons”.
Bosso would go into the match buoyed by their Chibuku Cup quarterfinal triumph last weekend, but then they are facing a team that has a 100% home record since Masimba Dinyero took over as coach from Bigboy Mawiwi in August.
Dinyero has played three matches at home, beating Chiredzi FC 2-1, Chapungu 1-0 and How Mine 3-0.
Their away performance have not been very convincing though as was evidenced by their last week’s 1-0 loss to Black Rhinos, a result which might dent their morale going into the match.
Highlanders, second on the log standings and just three points behind Dynamos with eight matches remaining cannot afford to lose this match as that would only give further advantage to the log leaders if they beat FC Platinum, while for Harare City who are currently on 10th position, a win will see them moving further away from the relegation zone.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixtures
Saturday: Chicken Inn vs Bantu Rovers (Hartsfield), FC Platinum vs Dynamos (Mandava), Harare City vs Highlanders (Rufaro), Chiredzi FC vs Shabanie Mine (Chishamiso)
Sunday: Caps United vs How Mine (Rufaro), Buffaloes vs Triangle United (Sakubva), Hwange vs Chapungu (Colliery), ZPC Kariba vs Black Rhinos (TBA)