Limping Highlanders date Caps FC

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COMING from three straight defeats, Bulawayo giants Highlanders are hard-pressed to beat Caps United this afternoon at Barbourfields (BF) Stadium if they are nursing any hopes of reclaiming pole position in the Castle Lager Premiership log standings.

FORTUNE MBELE, SPORTS REPORTER

Bosso last won a league match on June 2, when they beat Hwange 0-1 at the Colliery, the solitary goal coming from Milton Ncube.

After that, it has been woes for head coach Kelvin Kaindu as Bosso suffered their third home defeat, losing to Chicken Inn 0-1 at BF on June 26 before the Green Machine handed them their fourth defeat a fortnight ago at the National Sports Stadium, with a 2-1 win to wrap up the first half of the season.

Highlanders coach, Kelvin Kaindu is under pressure to win against Caps United this afternoon.
Highlanders coach, Kelvin Kaindu is under pressure to win against Caps United this afternoon.

After that, Highlanders were booted out of the returning BancABC Sup8r Cup 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out last Saturday at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo after the match had ended goalless in regulation time.

A loss this afternoon could spell disaster, as it could see Bosso tumbling further down the ladder after they were dislodged from the top spot by Chicken Inn who drew 1-1 with Shabanie at Luveve Stadium on Friday.

Kaindu has, however, said he was not under pressure at all and Bosso were ready for Caps United.

“We are ready for the game. Everyone has been there at training save for Honest Moyo who is still injured. We always respect our opponents,” Kaindu who admitted to our sister publication NewsDay on Friday that it has been difficult spell for the Bulawayo giants, said.

Bosso fans expected to throng Barbourfields.
Bosso fans expected to throng Barbourfields.

He called for unity of purpose and character saying the bad patch was a passing phase amid reports that morale was low in camp after winning bonuses for players were slashed.

A boost for Bosso will be the return of anchorman Mthulisi Maphosa who missed the Sup8r Cup last week due to injury and that might see Hillary Madzivanyika sitting on the bench with Masimba Mambare and Milton going on the attack.

Bosso’s major undoing of late has been lack of fire power upfront with strikers Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube, Graham Ncube and Beaven Chikaka being big letdowns.

Peter “Rio” Moyo and ever-improving Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu will miss today’s clash due to suspension. Erick Mudzingwa, who has been coming from the bench after recovering from injury, could be partnering skipper Innocent Mapurana in central defence with wing-backs Simon “Yola” Munawa and speed merchant Bruce Kangwa.

Peter "Rio" Moyo is expected to carry the day for Bosso.
Peter “Rio” Moyo is expected to carry the day for Bosso.

Caps United head coach Taurai Mangwiro said he was expecting a tough duel this afternoon, but he be would taking the game as any other match.

The resurgent Green Machine have a chance of squaring up with Bosso on 29 points if they win this encounter, poising for the title fight.

“It is just like any other game. The stakes are high considering that we beat them in Harare, so we expect them to fight back. We are going there with a good chance after that win. We are not under any pressure although we know the threat they pose playing at home.” Mangwiro said.

The man to watch at Caps will be Dominic Chungwa, Hardlife Zvirekwi and Rahman Kutsanzira who might return to torment his former paymasters.

They will, however, be without three key players, injured Pride Tafirenyika and Ronald Pfumbidzai while Tawanda Nyamandwe will be on suspension.
In Harare, troubled sides Motor Action and Monomomotapa will clash at Motor Action Sports Club while Buffaloes will entertain Tripple B at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare, with Black Rhinos hosting FC Platinum at Rimuka in Kadoma.
Platinum, under new coach Lloyd Mutasa, also have a chance of tying up with Bosso on 29 points if they beat the soldiers.

Fixtures
Today: Buffaloes v Tripple B (Sakubva), Black Rhinos v FC Platinum (Rimuka), Motor Action v Monomotapa (Motor Action), Highlanders v Caps United (Barbourfields)