The ingredients for an enthrallingly entertaining contest when Highlanders take on Dynamos in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow are in abundance.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
This is a match where normally one does not need persuasion to be drawn to it.
But throw in the positions on the league table, Bosso’s double over DeMbare last season, Masimba Mambare and then Rodreck Mutuma’s switch from the Harare football giants to the Bulawayo rivals, then you are sure to be in for a blockbuster.
This season, both teams expect success, they are desperate for it and they are well-primed for it.
Coach Erol Akbay at Highlanders has said it will be too close to call and DeMbare’s Lloyd Mutasa agrees with him, the sentiment is shared in the football family.
The two schemers will be trying to get into each other’s minds, they will plot and plan, but they know the big occasion may get the better of the players.
“You can never have that confidence when you play against Dynamos,” Akbay said.
“It’s not possible because it is a big game and in this kind of game whatever tactics you choose at times might not work. I believe the better team of the day will win this one. That’s why we have to make sure we have the right mentality and then maybe we will have a good chance.”
So big and tough is the match, Akbay can’t even tip his own side.
There are efforts in the Bosso medical room to try and restore Prince Dube’s fitness in time for tomorrow, but Akbay is not convinced.
“Prince trained yesterday (Thursday), but I was not satisfied with the way he looked. I heard that the doctors might give him the nod. It’s a very important game for us. It’s the biggest game in the country. We have to win against Dynamos to make sure we remain among the top teams. I know for Dynamos it’s also very important because it’s Highlanders and that makes it very exciting. I am eagerly waiting for it,” Akbay said.
Mutasa will draw confidence from the Independence Trophy triumph, but he knows this will be a tough one.
“Games pitting Highlanders and Dynamos don’t come any easy and this one is going to be a tough one. We will go there with a positive mind knowing we are playing against a team that is strong and is at the top of the log. We lost our matches last year, but won the Independence Trophy this year, though that is not anything to go by. Every game is different; it’s about how one will execute their plan and we have done our homework,” Mutasa said.
Dynamos have played five matches so far two getting wins, a draw and two defeats while two matches against Black Rhinos and Caps United were postponed.
Mutasa believes he has a better team this year.
“I think we are starting to come up. There is light at the end of the tunnel and a bright future for these youngsters. If they get better motivation they are capable of doing better than last year,” Mutasa said.
Highlanders will have to watch out for their former striker Mambare, Denver Mukamba and Ocean Mushure.
The Glamour Boys are without central defender Obey Mwerahari due to suspension.