Masuku back at Highlanders

18 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
Masuku back at Highlanders Nqobizitha Masuku

The Chronicle

Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS’ midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku makes a welcome return as the Bulawayo giants head to Gibbo Stadium on Sunday, the venue where they recorded their last league victory away from home back in 2018.

Bosso face Triangle in a Chibuku Super Cup first round tie.

Chibuku Super Cup

Masuku tracked his way back home last week after his intended move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) fell through.

He attended a three-week trial stint that saw him playing three assessment matches at the UAE second tier side Al Ramms before being let go on the eve of the side’s pre-season start.

Highlanders yesterday confirmed Masuku was back at the club and in contention for Sunday’s crucial cup tie.

“The vice-captain is back,” the club announced on their social media platforms.

In the absence of Masuku, Darlington Mukuli had been operating the Bosso engine room.

The vice captain’s return will be a boost for the team that hopes to end its poor form on the road.

Gibbo Stadium could be the turf where Bosso might salvage a win given its the place they last recorded a victory on the road.

Portuguese coach Baltemar Brito, is the fourth coach to have led Bosso on the numerous fruitless away raids.

coach Baltemar Brito

The weekend cup clash would be a test of his ability to cleanse the curse that has stuck since 2018.

Madinda Ndlovu, Pieter de Jongh and Mandla Mpofu are the other coaches to have failed to win on the road in the league since that time.

Again, the question arises, have Bosso just been unlucky in their travels or they are just bad at playing in other stadia?

What is undeniable though is that the reasons behind the poor string of results are either tactical or a lack of mental stamina by the players.

The lukewarm away form does not make life any easier for Brito who has come under heavy scrutiny from the Highlanders fans who went as far as booing him after last Sunday’s league draw to Herentals.

This was not the first incident the Bosso supporters have shown their displeasure at the team’s display.

They jeered the coach and his lads following a 0-0 draw against Tenax at Barbourfields Stadium a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, Bosso are not the only team that enters the Chibuku Super Cup clash in jitters. Even other big teams touted as favourites may fall by the way side in the first round. Teams that perform badly in the league have a penchant of causing upsets.

Former cup champions Harare City have a date with Chicken Inn at Luveve, in a match that the Gamecocks’ coach Joey Antipas knows will not be a stroll in the park.

FC Platinum, winners of the 2021 edition of the Chibuku Super Cup play against Tenax in the first round.

It is this kind of a “David-Goliath” pairing of teams that makes the first round of the competition exciting.

The Chibuku Super Cup, the country’s most rewarding club competition, is returning to its usual format after it was played in four groups at venues in Bulawayo, Harare, Zvishavane as well as Mutare last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The teams that will win the weekend games will proceed to the quarter-finals to be played on the weekend of September 17-18.

The semi-finals are set for October 15-16, with the final on November 19.
Chibuku Super Cup first round fixtures

Saturday, August 20: Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve), FC Platinum v Tenax CS FC (Mandava), Black Rhinos v Caps United (Vengere), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Herentals (Baobab)

Sunday, August 21: Bulawayo Chiefs v ZPC Kariba (Luveve), Manica Diamonds v Yadah (Vengere), Dynamos v Whawha (National Sports Stadium), Triangle United v Highlanders (Gibbo)

Quarterfinals: September 17-18

Semi-finals: October 15-16

Final: November 19

— @innocentskizoe

Share This: