BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu is worried by his side’s failure to score goals in the two Chibuku Super Cup games they have played so far with his boys having only scored just one goal in their first game when they beat Bulawayo Chiefs.
In their first Group 2 tie against The Ninjas, Highlanders won by a solitary goal scored by new striker Washington Navaya and on Sunday they played a goalless draw against log leaders Chicken Inn.
They clash with Bulawayo City in their third game at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
Their performance is likely to be affected by an industrial action the players undertook on Thursday, pressing for better remuneration.
They were due to train later in the afternoon yesterday.
Mpofu on Thursday said he was worried by his side’s failure to convert chances to goals as he plots to defend the Chibuku Super Cup that Highlanders won when they beat Ngezi Platinum Stars 1-0 in the 2019 finals at Barbourfields Stadium.
“We are coming short in the attacking third. We need to work around the clock which is something that we are doing at training; how we can penetrate to get those goals because to win one needs to get goals. That is my main worry at the moment but it is something that we are working on. We hope that when we meet Bulawayo City we can score as many goals as possible,” Mpofu said.
Highlanders have options in Navaya, Ray Lunga, Toto Banda, Rodi Sibanda, Godfrey Makaruse and Mthabisi Ncube upfront.
Chicken Inn, leading the pack with four points, have scored two goals in two games while City and Chiefs have also scored two apiece.
Chiefs lost to Bosso before playing a 2-2 draw against Bulawayo City.
Despite scoring two each, Chiefs and the local authority side have also conceded two each with The Ninjas on position three with a point while City anchors the log standings, also with a point.
Chicken Inn and Highlanders, both on four points at the top, are separated by a goal difference just like the bottom two, Chiefs and City on a point each.
Mpofu is wary about the Philani “Beefy” Ncube-coached Bulawayo City who are under pressure to move from the bottom and close the gap.
“They (City) played their last game, they conceded two goals and they managed to score two. I know they are a dangerous team going forward. We might field the same team that played against Chicken Inn but have to figure out how best we can approach the game against City with the limited squad that we have. I have to think outside the box and whatever happens, I must come up with a team to play on Sunday,” Mpofu said.
Without central defenders Peter Muduhwa and Andrew Mbeba, Mpofu started the game against Chicken Inn with a makeshift defence that had Mbongeni Ndlovu and Andrew Tandi in the centre and Chrispen Ncube and Pritchard Mpelele on the left.
Tandi got injured early in the game and was replaced by Charlton Siamalonga who settled on the right-back and Ncube partnered Ndlovu in the centre and that defence frustrated a full-strength Chicken Inn.
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