Highlanders coach Brito Baltimar hopes that his charges will finally hand him his first victory over Dynamos in open play when the two giants clash in their rearranged fixture at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
The Brazil-born gaffer has faced Dynamos twice since he joined Bosso last year, with the first encounter in the league at the National Sports Stadium last season ending goalless.
The two football giants then took their rivalry to Mt Darwin on April 18 this year for the Independence Cup final clash and they also could not be separated in the 90 minutes of regulation time as they again drew 0-0.
Bosso went on to win in the penalty shootout.
Speaking at his pre-match Press conference, Brito said he will be gunning for victory in the third. “So, in the last two games that we played with them, one for last season, one this season, the cup, we drew. So, for this one we practised, we said the third is the time that we get the goals and we win. So we are confident about it,” he said.
Brito complained bitterly when this fixture was postponed last month, saying the postponement favoured Dynamos who were struggling for form at the time.
Asked if he still holds the same opinion, he said, “The institutions that run football made a good decision (this time) because Dynamos played one day ahead of us and we played one day before but we needed to travel and come back and they just need to travel. I think it’s a fair environment for a game like this and for both teams,” he said.
Highlanders, who played Cranborne Bullets in Harare at the weekend, remain the only unbeaten side in the PSL this season. Bosso have also enjoyed dominance over Dynamos as they have not lost a game from open play since 2015 to the Harare giants. Dynamos’ last victory at Barbourfields Stadium was in 2014 when they won 1-0 courtesy of a Roderick Mutuma strike. They got their other victory via a boardroom decision in 2017 after the match was abandoned when Bosso fans protested against Christian Epopue’s equalizer. Rahman Kutsanzira had thrust Bosso into the lead. Dynamos were handed the match on a 3-0 scoreline by the PSL disciplinary committee.
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Dynamos legend Godfrey Paradza is backing his former club, and wants the players to play for the team's supporters expected to throng Barbourfields this afternoon despite the hosts’ decision to hike gate charges.
The cheapest ticket will cost US$5 up from the normal US$2.
“The pressure is on Dynamos. Highlanders are doing well at the moment. Being away from home, Dynamos are under pressure. They need to perform and atone for the number of draws that they have had this season. That defeat in the Independence trophy is a motivator for Bosso, so Dynamos have a tough task at hand. It’s a big match where Dynamos will have to give something to their supporters who always come through when they are playing in Bulawayo. They will support the team for 90 minutes and I think that is what should motivate the DeMbare players,” said Paradza.
DeMbare, have, however shown that they can rise to the occasion in big matches. They dispatched Caps United 2-0 in the Harare derby in April. Tanaka Shandirwa and Donald Mudadi were at their best on the day and they will be hoping to replicate the same form this afternoon. They will be ably supported by Junior Makunike in the Dynamos midfield.
It is upfront where Dynamos have struggled just like Highlanders. Herbert Maruwa will have to keep faith with the misfiring frontline which includes Jayden Bakari, Emmanuel Paga, former Bosso player Tinashe Makanda, Nyasha Chintuli and Eli Ilunga. They face a mammoth task of scoring at Barbourfields against a Bosso defence that has only conceded once in five matches this season. The last time that they played at BF, Makanda was on target as they beat Hwange 1-0 in the first match of the season. DeMbare will be making the long journey to Bulawayo for the second time this year; their first match outside Harare since week one.
On the other hand, Bosso have only scored seven goals in nine matches. The Bosso strikers are under pressure to deliver and they have their work cut out against a Dynamos defence that has proved to be mean this far. Tymon Mvula notched up his eighth clean sheet in nine matches on Sunday as Dynamos drew 0-0 with Manica Diamonds.
Lynoth Chikuhwa is once again expected to lead the Bosso attack with either Stanley Ngala, Washington Navaya or Calvin Chigonero partnering him.
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