Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FADING soccer giants Highlanders and Dynamos fight for pride at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow, with Bosso coach Madinda Ndlovu working overtime to keep his players focused amid news that he is set to leave the Bulawayo club.
Media reports from Botswana say Ndlovu has agreed terms with Gaborone United, a topic that the Bosso coach is uncomfortable to talk about insisting that his focus is on guiding Highlanders to a positive result against their nemesis.
Ndlovu who admits that the talk of him leaving the club has negative effects in their camp, contends that his charges are geared up for the big game.
“This is a self-motivating game in the sense that every player in camp wants to be in the final team that will face Dynamos on Sunday. The boys have been working hard and are geared for the tie.
“Of course, what is circulating on social media is disturbing but the good thing is that the boys are focused on the game,” said Ndlovu.
The Bosso legend who plotted back-to-back league wins against Dynamos last season, breaking a 10-year jinx, appealed to fans from both teams to practise restraint and accept the result of the day.
Dynamos last beat Highlanders in open play in 2015 when they posted a 3-2 win in Harare with the other “win” for the Glamour Boys coming through a boardroom decision after their clash at Barbourfields Stadium in 2017 was abandoned and Dynamos were eventually awarded the match on a 3-0 score line.
Last year Bosso pummelled Dynamos home and away, and they also dismissed DeMbare in this year’s Independence Cup final at the National Sports Stadium.
“Football should be the winner. There are three results in football, a win, draw or defeat. My appeal is to fans not to do things that provoke the other. People should come and enjoy the game and at the end of the day there shall be one winner. If not, then the fairest result is a draw,” said Ndlovu.
Unlike last year when Highlanders had a great start which gave their fans reason to believe that that season was theirs to win the championship, Bosso seem to have flattered only to deceive this term.
Highlanders are playing good football without desired result and find themselves swimming in the murky relegation waters as they occupy the last relegation slot, position 15 with a paltry 11 points from 11 games.
DeMbare are not far from Bosso, as they are four points above Highlanders on position 10.
Heading into tomorrow’s encounter, Highlanders will take comfort in the fact that they’ve won their last two games at Barbourfields Stadium, beating TelOne 1-0 and ZPC Kariba 2-0. Dynamos on the other hand were clobbered 2-0 by log anchors Bulawayo Chiefs on their last visit to Barbourfields.
Highlanders’ trump cards tomorrow are likely to be their lively wingers Ray Lunga and former Dynamos’ Cleopas Kapupurika whose dribbling skills and pace have been a nightmare for opposition defenders.
Prince Dube who appears to have been frustrated by going for eight consecutive games without scoring might start from the bench and be used as an impact player.
The usually reliable goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, defenders Peter Muduhwa and Tendai Ndlovu as well as defensive midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku are some of the players to watch from the Bosso camp.
Dynamos appear to have been revived under Tonderai Ndiraya who replaced Lloyd Chigowe as head coach after four games.
Ndiraya has presided over seven games, collecting 12 points out of a possible 21 points from three wins, three draws and one defeat.
During the same period, Highlanders have managed nine points from two wins, three draws and two defeats.
Dynamos will bank on goalkeeper Simba Chinani, roving right back Emmanuel Jalai, utility player Godfrey Mukambi, attackers Tawanda Macheka and veteran Edward Sadomba to help them pile misery on Highlanders. — @ZililoR