Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
NEWS of Mandla Mpofu’s sacking as head coach reportedly left Highlanders’ players devastated, but they have put that behind them and aim to collect three points against ZPC Kariba under the guidance of caretaker coach Joel Luphahla this afternoon.
The two sides clash in a lunchtime kick-off at Nyamhunga Stadium.
Bosso fired Mpofu, first assistant Bekithemba Ndlovu and goalkeepers’ trainer Julius Ndlovu on Tuesday last week, two days after their league match against Dynamos was abandoned following crowd violence.
Highlanders’ captain and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda said it took strong advice from Luphahla to lift team spirit.
“Everyone seemed down and confused, but the coach guided us.
As senior players we also had to pull the team together.
We had been with Mpofu for a long time, but that is football. All our focus now is on ZPC Kariba.
I am sure we will put in a good fight,” said Sibanda.
“We know it’s not going to be easy, but I think it’s high time we turned the tables.
I think it’s been four years without winning away.
We have to go there with a purpose and come back with three points to Bulawayo,” he said.
Highlanders’ last win outside Bulawayo was when they overcame Triangle United 1-0 at Gibbo Stadium on July 22, 2018.
Besides trying to end their winless run on the road, Highlanders are also battling for their first away victory against ZPC Kariba, who were promoted into the PSL in 2014.
Highlanders have played six away games against ZPC Kariba since 2014 and lost four times, and drawn twice.
ZPC Kariba are now under the tutelage of former Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Rodwell Dhlakama, who will be in charge of his third assignment when they face Bosso.
Dhlakama won 1-0 against Whawha at home in his first game in Kariba and lost 0-3 away to Bulawayo City.
Victory for third from the bottom ZPC Kariba will take them level on points with Highlanders, making the encounter potentially explosive, as Bosso don’t want to slip into the relegation zone.
PSL matchday 16 fixtures
ZPC Kariba vs Highlanders (Nyamhunga), Black Rhinos vs Whawha (Sakubva), Harare City vs Bulawayo City (National Sports Stadium), Chicken Inn vs Yadah FC (Luveve), FC Platinum vs Triangle United (Mandava), Ngezi Platinum Stars vs Manica Diamonds (Baobab)
Tenax CS FC vs Cranborne Bullets (Sakubva), Dynamos vs Herentals (National Sports Stadium), Bulawayo Chiefs vs Caps United (Luveve)