Highlanders return to Mucheke


MUCHEKE Stadium in Masvingo has never been an easy hunting ground for Highlanders as the Bulawayo giants have found the going tough each time they travel to the city.


Since Masvingo United lost 0-2 to Monomotapa to bid farewell to Premier Soccer League (PSL)games on November 19 2011, Mucheke Stadium has hardly hosted top-flight matches with the last crowd-pulling game involving Highlanders and FC Platinum in the semi-finals of the BancABC Sup8r Cup.

Highlanders lost that match on penalties.

And with Mbada Diamonds spreading their games across the country, Mucheke will once again host another top-flight match involving Highlanders in the quarter-finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup against Buffaloes this weekend.

Highlanders has won and lost at Mucheke both on and off the field of play.

And many Masvingo fans will remember that it was in 2006 that Zenzo Moyo teed up Obadiah Tarumbwa at the same venue for a 1-0 win in a tense match that secured Highlanders a crucial win before they thumped Hwange 4-2 at the Colliery to seal their last title.

With Masvingo exiting the PSL in 2011, the venue has seen lower division matches being hosted and with match tickets going for a dollar, a full house is expected-even more than holding capacity of 5000.

Bosso will face unpredictable Buffaloes on Sunday at Mucheke.

Speaking at the quarter-final draw last Friday, Mbada Diamonds Cup organising chairperson Tafadzwa Chiremba said: “We were impressed with the overwhelming response from fans in the first round and with the ticket charges being maintained at $1, I believe we will have good crowds again in the quarter-finals.”

No doubt, Masvingo fans will be backing Buffaloes following several running battles with Highlanders.

Highlanders fans, on the other hand, are buoyed by their team’s recent good run home and away and believe backing them all the way will aid their success.

In the last few seasons, Highlanders have not been lucky in cup competitions as they fell twice to Zimbabwe Saints and Monomotapa at the Colliery and will be hoping that a change of venue will translate into a change of fortunes.

Bosso drew 1-1 with Buffaloes in a league match at Sakubva on Sunday, following up on their 3-2 win over Triangle in the first round of Mbada Diamonds Cup and a 2-1 league win over FC Platinum.