HIGHLANDERS skipper Ariel Sibanda has demanded an improved performance and a top-four finish from his troops, which would guarantee them a place in the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
Sibanda said this in the wake of another demoralising 0-3 defeat to Harare City in the semi-finals of the $500 000 Chibuku Super Cup at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
“It’s hard to take,” said Sibanda in his post-match interview.
“We don’t know what is happening. The rate of defeats is alarming. We dominated the first half, but we couldn’t take our chances and were punished. But these things happen in football, I think it’s just a bad spell and what we need to do is to remain focused and not get distracted because we still can finish in the top four. It’s difficult to talk about the championship now, but a top-four finish is realistic.
“There are still 15 points to play for and we need to bounce back quickly and finish in the top four to play in the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
“We should lay to rest these defeats and focus on the upcoming games.”
Highlanders are in fourth place with 39 points from 25 matches with log leaders Dynamos on 49 points. ZPC Kariba are in second place with 47 points while Caps United are in third position with 45 points.
This weekend, Bosso return to Bulawayo’s Hartsfield to face Chicken Inn hoping to halt their disturbing run.
Hwange and FC Platinum are tied on 38 points with the coal miners on top because of a goal difference.
Former Dynamos striker Francesco Zekumbawire was the destroyer- in-chief once again after he scored a fabulous goal and provided an assist for Martin Vengesayi’s third goal. Substitute William Manondo scored the second to set City on a collision course with FC Platinum in the final next month.
It was Highlanders’ fourth straight defeat having been pummelled 4-0 by rivals Caps United a week ago.
The defeat to Harare City was also the second this season having been beaten 1-0 in the league two weeks ago.
But the story could have been different had Highlanders not wasted chances in the first half in which they were clearly the dominant side.