Soma-Phiri guns for 27 points Amin Soma-Phiri
Amin Soma-Phiri

Amin Soma-Phiri

Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter—
NEWLY appointed Highlanders head coach Amin Soma-Phiri has boldly declared he will collect 27 points from the remaining nine matches, starting with the away match to bogey side Harare City at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon. Speaking with the confidence of a veteran during a Press conference at the club offices on Thursday, Soma-Phiri, who is not a novice in coaching, said he leads Amahlolanyama into battle confident of a win, even though he was not underrating their opponents.

He said even during his playing days, he was never a loser and would want to impart that spirit to the boys. “I’m not looking for a loss (in the nine matches). I’m going to Harare to win and it’ll happen because there’s everything that a coach needs in terms of playing personnel,” said Soma-Phiri who was accompanied by technical director Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu.

He was nevertheless aware of the danger posed by Harare City but still said Bosso would come right, regardless of history being against the crest fallen giants. “We’re expecting a very tough game, they’ve good players and technical team but I’m not coming back home with a loss,” declared Soma-Phiri, deadly with headers during his playing days.

The two sides have met nine times since Harare City gained promotion into the elite league, both jealously guarding their home territory. In 2012 the two legs ended in draws,0-0 in Harare and 1-1 at Barbourfields. The following year, Highlanders won 2-0 at home before they were hammered 4-0 in the reverse fixture.

Last season, Highlanders posted a 1-0 win at home before losing by a similar margin in Harare. Highlanders go into the match sitting in an unfamiliar 10th position on the table with 25 points while their opponents are fifth and six points ahead. Soma-Phiri said he was glad he was taking over a well assembled side that was unfortunately not producing the desired results.

“I wonder why we were losing with the kind of players we have, I really don’t know where we were missing it. The guys assembled a very good side and we’re struggling with our selection because everyone wants to be in the team,” said Soma-Phiri. Meanwhile, technical director Zulu has attributed the team’s unfamiliar position on the table to the poor performance by the goalkeepers.

Tsano, who believes in the philosophy that strikers win games while goalkeepers win championships, is now in charge of the goalkeepers following the departure of another legend Peter ‘Captain Oxo’ Nkomo. “The goalkeeping department is one reason that has made this team to be where it is on the table. I’ve noted that the guys have no confidence of standing in between the posts but the response I’m getting from them at training is very encouraging,” said Zulu.

Highlanders have not had a regular goalkeeper this season with Ariel Sibanda and Njabulo Nyoni taking turns to guard the posts although Nyoni seemed to have charmed former coach Mafu. Fixtures: Today: Harare City v Highlanders (Rufaro Stadium), Chicken Inn v ZPC Kariba (Luveve Stadium), FC Platinum v Dynamos (Mandava Stadium), Flame Lily v Hwange (Lafarge Stadium)

Tomorrow: Whawha v Triangle United (Ascot Stadium), Dongo Sawmill v Chapungu (Vengere Stadium), Caps United v Buffaloes (National Sports Stadium), Tsholotsho v How Mine (White City Stadium)

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