Mpofu faces defining moment

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HIGHLANDERS coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu

BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu has to collect maximum points against Caps United in his next away Castle Lager Premier Soccer match at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday to make sure his job is secure.

Despite a resounding 4-0 win against Herentals at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday, NewsDay Sport is reliably informed that after the 1-0 loss to Bulawayo City, Mpofu was given a target of seven points from three games.

He has managed four after Bosso were held by Tenax to a goalless draw before they picked up three points on Sunday when they sent Herentals to the cleaners.

If the said target is anything to go by, Mpofu will have to beat the Green Machine to reach the seven-point mark.

Sources indicated that initially Mpofu had been given a target of 20 points in 10 matches before the target was revised downwards following a poor start to the season.

But the victory against Herentals has given Mpofu  hope going forward and he is looking forward to his next game against Makepekepe.

“Good games to play; I think as a coach these are the games that we want and the same applies to the players.

These are games that you feel you want to play like yesterday.

I guess it is going to be an entertaining game. Remember everytime we play Caps United, it’s very entertaining but if I can grind something I would be very happy,” Mpofu said after dispatching The Students.

Sunday was their second win in which they buried four opportunities and in the first win it was vice-captain Nqobizitha Masuku who scored a brace from free-kicks when they beat WhaWha and before the game against Herentals, Highlanders had not scored in open-play.

Masuku scored again on Sunday with the other goals coming from Bukhosi Sibanda, Adrian Silla and Lynoth Chikuhwa, who rose from the bench to score the last goal.

“The only difference has been getting goals but otherwise we have been playing the same passing football, trying to go forward but were just unfortunate but the floodgates have opened and I am happy.

I always talk about composure and confidence and as I said last week sometimes in football you need luck,” Mpofu said.

The Highlanders leadership, which has so far stood by the coach, said the aim was for him to win the championship.

Caps United also got their second win of the season when they beat Bulawayo City on Saturday at Barbourfields.

Fixtures

Saturday: Chicken Inn v Black Rhinos (Luveve), Yadah v Bulawayo City (Baobab), FC Platinum v Ngezi Platinum (Mandava), Dynamos v ZPC Kariba (National Sports Stadium)

Sunday: Caps United v Highlanders (National Sports Stadium), Tenax v Herentals (Sakubva), Bulawayo Chiefs v Harare City (Luveve), Triangle v WhaWha (Gibbo), Cranborne Bullets v Manica Diamonds (Baobab)

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