FORMER Highlanders striker Thabani Masawi says Highlanders should not depend on other teams to beat Dynamos, but should do it on their own as Sunday’s battle between the two giants at Barbourfields Stadium will go a long way in determining the destiny of the championship.
Highlanders and Dynamos clash in what is expected to be an explosive Premier Soccer League tie at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Masawi was part of the trailblazing Highlanders team that won the championship from 1999-2002.
“The Highlanders and Dynamos match has come at the right time because the result of the match will go a long way in determining the team that will win the championship,” he said.
“This is a very big game, but it will all come down to the players on Sunday. The coach can tell the players what to do during the week, but it will come down to the players. The game will be self-motivating on its own. The players need to remain focused ahead of the game.
“In order to be the champion, you have to beat the champion, so Highlanders need to beat Dynamos if they are to become champions. They have to beat Dynamos themselves and not depend on other teams to do it for them. They have to stand up for themselves if they want to win the league,” Masawi added.
Bosso thumped Black Rhinos 3-0 in Kadoma on Sunday while Dynamos trounced the relegation-threatened Beitbridge side Tripple B 4-0 at Rufaro Stadium on the same day.
What makes the Sunday fixture even more interesting is that both teams are separated by two points. Bosso go into Sunday’s match with 47 points from 25 games while Dynamos have 45 points from the same number of games.
Masawi spoke about his experience during Bosso playing days while also urging fans to rally behind the team.
“When it came to such a big game I would panic, but I knew that to be a great player one needed to play in such big games. This would be the time for the players to show what they could do. It is also good that Highlanders has picked up momentum at the right time. They are looking like they will finish strongly.
“I believe that Bosso has got better players than Dynamos. They just need to express themselves. The fans will also play a factor in Sunday’s game. The Bosso fans should rally behind the team throughout the match and not be dominated by the vociferous visitors. If they cheer the team, then the players will react,” Masawi said.
Former Warriors striker Zenzo Moyo who played alongside Masawi, also expressed his views on the Sunday tie.
“Personally I think the match between Dynamos and Highlanders will not be a title decider. Highlanders are still to play Harare City while Dynamos are still to face Chicken Inn,” he said.
“It will be a big game though. It is a two-horse race between Highlanders and Dynamos.
“However, Bosso are like a moving train now because they are crushing any team and they are playing well. It will be one of those matches where players are self-motivated,” he said.
FC Platinum coach Lloyd Mutasa who won the championship with Dynamos in 1994, 1995 and 1997 said the match will be the highlight of this week’s action.
“This is the biggest match in the domestic league because Highlanders and Dynamos are household names.
“When I played for Dynamos it was during the era of players like Willard Khumalo, Abraham Mbambo, Madinda Ndlovu and Makheyi Nyathi (the late). Matches used to be very tightly contested and I am sure this one will be as well because the league is drawing to an end.
“The match will be tough because Dynamos need the three points to dethrone Highlanders while a draw will be okay for Bosso as they will still be on top. The team that wins might take a step towards the championship podium,” he said.
Former Dynamos player, now FC Platinum assistant coach Masimba Dinyero, said the match could go either way.
“The match is a 50-50 affair. The better team on the day will win. The team that wins will take a further step to the championship. When we used to play Bosso the atmosphere was electric and the stadium would be fully packed.
“Thousands of people would attend the match and we were not playing for the love of money, but for the love of football unlike nowadays,” he said.
Dinyero won the championship with Dynamos in 1997.