IT was at this stage last year that Highlanders were bundled out of the prestigious Mbada Diamonds Cup in Hwange by Monomotapa in a 3-2 defeat after having led the Harare side 2-0 at some stage.
This afternoon, Bosso will lock horns with Buffaloes in the quarter-finals of the same competition at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo as they seek to change their fortunes in cup tournaments.
The Bulawayo giants, also chasing the Premier Soccer League title, have not gone past this stage of the tournament since its inauguration in 2011 when they lost in the first round 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out to Zimbabwe Saints in Hwange.
They last won a piece of silverware in 2011 when the Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku-coached side beat Dynamos 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out in Harare to lift the Independence Cup and last won the league title in 2006 under the tutelage of Methembe Ndlovu.
Head coach Kelvin Kaindu has an uphill task of at least taking Bosso to the semi-finals of this year’s $130 000 Mbada Diamonds Cup before he bids them farewell for his Uefa B coaching licence at the end of the month in the United Kingdom.
Highlanders’ hopes of sailing through lie on in-form bustling striker Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube who returned from injury with a bang and the young Gabriel Nyoni who has been a revelation for Bosso since joining them in mid-season from a loan spell to Division One side Bulawayo Chiefs.
Another man to watch at Highlanders is the impressive left-back Bruce Kangwa, whose dazzling speed when he overlaps could mesmerise the soldiers. Highlanders last Sunday had a nervy finish to their league tie against Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare after getting a late equalser to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Bosso will be seeking to exorcise the cup drought ghost as well as seeking to run away from being haste again by Mucheke where they were also booted out of the BancABC Sup8r Cup after losing to FC Platinum 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals in June.
Buffaloes coach Timothy Masachi will be looking forward to beating Bosso and cruising through to the semi-finals as the soldiers have never beaten Highlanders.
Masachi will place his hopes in top goal-scorer Steven Sibanda who has scored 11 goals this season. Buffaloes are also seeking to avenge a 3-0 league defeat to Bosso at Barbourfields Stadium in the first half of the season.