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Bosso, Dembare light up 42nd Independence celebrations

by Staff reporter
17 Apr 2022 at 09:07hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE turns 42 tomorrow, and the big party is in the City of Kings where football giants Dynamos and Highlanders clash in a potentially mouth-watering battle befitting the occasion.

It's the first time Bosso and DeMbare are meeting in the Independence Cup final at Barbourfields Stadium.

The country's second-largest city is already bracing for an epic contest.

Although Barbourfields has previously been the theatre that hosted the 2005 and 2007 editions of the Uhuru Cup when Highlanders lost to Motor Action and Masvingo, respectively, this year's showdown has assumed renewed interest.

This is because of the calibre of opponents Bosso are meeting in the competition — Dynamos.

With so much at stake, including a cool US$50 000 in prize money, fans can expect to be treated to a duel that could also put icing on Independence Day festivities.

DeMbare are blazing hot in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League where they have won five of their last six outings, while Highlanders are beginning to show signs of that old beast that haunted teams that dared to visit Emagumeni.

The Uhuru Cup final has thus been billed as a top show featuring some of the best talent in the land.

Dynamos' 19-year-old sensation Bill Antonio returns to Bulawayo where he mesmerised on his last visit, as the Harare giants edged Bulawayo Chiefs 2-0 in a league match at Barbourfields.

Highlanders' Nqobizitha Masuku is also in imperious form and is tipped to shine in tomorrow's final.

Historically, Independence Cup finals pitting Dynamos and Highlanders have always been intriguing.

Former Dynamos skipper and club legend Murape Murape knows better.

"I first played in the Independence Cup final in 1996 and I was a still a Form Three student then.

"It was a huge occasion which sort of ushered me into big-time football," said Murape.

"I then went on to captain Dynamos in numerous Uhuru Cup matches and it was such a great feeling, notably the games that we played against Highlanders.

"Playing in the Independence Cup final is so significant as citizens of Zimbabwe. It's a special day where we celebrate our freedom.

"The freedom that allowed us to showcase our talent as footballers.

"It's also an opportunity for players to market themselves in front of 50 000 or so people. Remember, Independence celebrations always attract huge crowds.

"So we are expecting a huge battle between Dynamos and Highlanders. But, of course, I will be rallying behind my team DeMbare.

"DeMbare is a big team and I am urging the boys in blue to play for the badge and defend their pride." Murape scored the solitary goal when Dynamos edged Highlanders in the 2013 Uhuru Cup final at the National Sports Stadium.

Since then, the traditional giants have met three times in the competition.

Dynamos won it in 2017 and 2021, while Highlanders were winners in 2019.

Former Highlanders striker and 2000 Soccer Star of the Year Zenzo Moyo is naturally tipping Bosso to lift the Cup.

"As you know, there is no friendly game between Dynamos and Highlanders; that's why their matches are known as the Battle of Zimbabwe," said Moyo.

"The Uhuru Cup is very important and I am sensing that Highlanders might come out right this time around," said the former Bosso top scorer.

The current Bosso attack is now being spearheaded by the likes of Lynoth Chikuhwa and Washington Navaya.

They will face a well-drilled Dynamos backline that is marshalled by Frank Makarati, who is arguably the best centre-back in the local league at the moment.

Makarati and his centre-back partner Partson Jaure are the backbone of the Dynamos defence, which is the best in the league.

However, in midfielder Masuku, Highlanders have a potential match-winner.

He has been immense for Highlanders this season, combining well with Devine Mhindirira and Adrian Silla.

Bosso also have experience in goalkeeper and captain Ariel Sibanda and centre-back Peter Muduhwa.

The likes of Andrew "Tower" Mbeba could also shine in front of an anticipated capacity crowd at Babourfields.

The fact that Sakunda Holdings, who are principal sponsors of the two giants, are reportedly planning to put in huge incentives could help make this battle one to remember.

It is also interesting to note that the two teams' coaches, Mandla Mpofu and Tonderai Ndiraya, know each other very well having worked together at Under-20 and Under-23 level.

Mpofu has done remarkably well in turning things around for Bosso, but last weekend's 2-2 home draw against Cranborne Bullets put a dent to his otherwise impressive run.

Source - The Sunday Mail
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