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Bosso to face CAPS without Ariel

by Staff reporter
28 Sep 2023 at 06:12hrs | Views
Highlanders are facing the likelihood of playing without their injured star goalkeeper, Ariel Sibanda, for the first time this season as they prepare to take on struggling CAPS United in a Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final clash at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

Sibanda, affectionately known as Mangoye or Mdawini among the loyal Bosso supporters, had been in impeccable form for the majority of the season until his performance took a downturn. He sustained an injury when Highlanders suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of a resurgent Hwange side last weekend.

The former Warriors goalkeeper had an outstanding start to the season, steering the Bosso ship with great confidence. However, in recent weeks, he and his defense have conceded goals at an alarming rate, a concerning trend for the success-starved Highlanders camp.

Sibanda has donned no other jersey but the Highlanders strip and worn no other club badge except the renowned "Siyinqaba" inscribed shield and spear logo. With an impressive 14 years of service at Bosso, winning this year's Chibuku Super Cup or the Premier Soccer League title would be a fitting conclusion to his illustrious football career.

Highlanders have not faced CAPS United, the former Cup Kings of the country, in such a significant contest for a long time. They would have greatly benefited from the presence of their inspirational captain, who is also a proficient penalty taker and saver.

Highlanders' communications and marketing officer, Nozibelo Maphosa, stated, "Ariel picked up a knock in Hwange, but we hope he will be available for selection on Sunday."

In Sibanda's absence, one of his two understudies, Raphael Pitisi or Reward Muza, is likely to step in. Interestingly, both Pitisi and Muza were with the team in Hwange, but neither was chosen to replace the injured Sibanda, who later conceded a goal that cost them three points.

With Highlanders' technical manager, Baltemar Brito, and his assistant, Antonio Torress, away on Warriors duty in Botswana, the team has been fine-tuning under the watchful eyes of former club legend Madinda Ndlovu, Joel Luphahla, and fitness trainer Abraham Mbayiwa.

On Sunday, Highlanders will face an inconsistent CAPS United side that has endured a nine-game winless streak in the league. This has been a cause for concern for Lloyd Chitembwe's team, which includes Bulawayo natives Joel "Josta" Ngodzo and Kelvin Madzongwe, players who could help them regain their lost pride within Bosso's fortress, Emagumeni.

Despite the absence of Peter Muduhwa due to national team commitments, Highlanders can still field a solid defense, with "Tower" Andrew Mbeba likely to feature in the backline alongside the evergreen Mbongeni "Mbola" Ndlovu, Archford Faira, and Marvelous Chigumira.

Source - The Herald
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