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Bosso, Dembare to ignite Rufaro stadium

by Sports reporter
28 Jun 2015 at 10:02hrs | Views
THE two most followed football clubs in the country, Dynamos and Highlanders head into war in what should be a must win Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter for both teams at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.

For Dembare the encounter provides them with an opportunity to extend their dominance over their adversaries, who on the other hand, treat the match as a chance to end a painful nine-year wait.

Highlanders last picked three points from Dynamos in July 2006 with a 2-0 triumph at Barbourfields Stadium. That was the year Bosso last became champions of Zimbabwean club football.

It was a superb season for Bosso who duly recorded a double over their fiercest rivals.

But since then coaches have come and gone at Bosso with none of them coming up with the formula to steal the thunder from Dembare.

The closest Highlanders came to breaking the jinx was in April 2013 at Rufaro Stadium when a Njabulo Ncube goal put them 1-0 in front six minutes into the second half.

However, centre referee Norman Matemera stole the show when he allowed play to continue beyond his optional time, presenting the Harare side to find an equalising goal, thanks to defender Partson Jaure.

Incumbent Bosso coach Bongani Mafu carries with him huge expectation of bringing joy to the Highlanders supporters as they have endured the pain of coming second best against Dembare.

Speaking during a Press conference at the Highlanders offices last Thursday, a confident Mafu said he would not allow his players to carry the burden of nine years without beating Dembare.

"We are going to play a game that we want to win. I want my players to carry the burden of playing football in a free spirit. I demand players who are prepared to break a leg for Highlanders, show me the desire and hunger to win," said Mafu.

However, the embattled Highlanders mentor said he still remained seized with a task of lifting his players who have been blowing hot and cold since the start of the season.

Going into this weekend's fixtures, Highlanders were in eighth spot on the 16 team log with 19 points, secured from five wins and four draws while they have suffered four losses.

However, Highlanders do have a good record away from Bulawayo with eight points picked up from two wins and the same numbers of draws.

Dynamos on the other hand, are four points ahead of Highlanders and are under a lot of pressure to surge to their fifth championship in a row. Their coach David Mandigora finds himself in a difficult situation with a loss to Bosso having the possibility of getting him shown the exit door.

Even at their worst, a match pitting the two has over the years brought out the best from players from both sides.

Dynamos do carry the advantage of having taken six points from Highlanders last season with identical scores of 1-0 in Harare and Bulawayo.

For Dynamos who have to do without inspirational Murape Murape and Roderick Mutuma, the key players in today's fixture are Tatenda Mukuruva, Blessing Moyo, Augustine Mbara, Sydney Linyama, Walter Mukanga, Masimba Mambare, Kelvin Bulaji, Oscar Machapa and Steven Alimenda.

Highlanders have had their strikeforce blunted by the absence of the injured Gabriel Nyoni and the suspended Thomas Chideu who has to sit out two matches after being shown a straight red card in the last match against How Mine. This leaves Obadiah Tarumbwa, the only player in the current Highlanders team who knows what it feels like to collect three points from Dynamos and Knox Mutizwa as the men tasked with breaching the Dembare defence. Forgotten Simba Sithole has also been thrown into the fray as a direct replacement for Chideu and it is to be seen if he would be required this afternoon.

Also out through injury is combative midfielder Mthulisi Maphosa and goalkeeper Takunda Mutanga.

Erick Mudzingwa, Teenage Hadebe, Bruce Kangwa, Honest Moyo and Webster Chingodza are the men fighting for starting slots in defence which has a massive task of shutting out the Dynamos strikers and proving good cover for goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.

In the middle of the park where Highlanders have been found wanting, the likes of Nqobizitha Masuku, Simon Munawa, King Nadolo, Edmore Muzanenhamo and Tendai Ngulube are the men with the job of creating goal scoring opportunities for the Bosso forwards.

In other matches scheduled for this afternoon, Whawha take on Chapungu, How Mine clash with Hwange, Triangle go up against ZPC Kariba and Tsholotsho meet fellow newboys Flame Lily.

Source - sundaynews