WILL Highlanders fail at the last hurdle again?
This is the question that Highlanders fans will be asking when the Bulawayo giants lock horns with How Mine in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final at Barbourfields Stadium, Bulawayo, on Saturday.
Having lost the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) championship to Dynamos on Sunday on goal difference for the second year running and after also failing to make headway in the BancABC Sup8r Cup, Saturday’s match will be the last chance for Bosso to end the season with a trophy in their cabinet.
Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu remained hopeful.
“We lost the championship to Dynamos on goal difference, so this is an opportunity for us to get one piece of silverware. It will not be the case of us just walking onto the field and winning the match. There is a hurdle we need to go past because it is a derby and it will be a tough match. A cup game is very different from the league because if you look at the way the team played in the cup game, the performance was very great. It is our desire to lift the cup,” the Zambian gaffer said.
With Bosso having last won a cup in 2011 under the guidance of Mkhuphali Masuku, Kaindu said it would be good if Bosso could win the cup game.
“The cup really means a lot to us considering what is at stake.There is a lot of money involved. Pieces of silverware have eluded the club for quite some time, so it is a very important match to us. I will also like to appeal to our fans to come in their numbers and support the team. They should not boo the players, but encourage them. We could not have got this far without the supporters rallying behind the team,” he said.
Kaindu said they were assessing striker Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube, Mthulisi Maphosa, Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu and Simon Munawa after picking up a minor injury against Shabanie Mine.
Highlanders lost 1-2 at Barbourfields in May before the Metallon Zimbabwe-sponsored side again collected maximum points courtesy of a Warren Dube goal in the reverse fixture in league encounters. Interestingly, Bosso is yet to score against How Mine as their only goal in the 2-1 loss came from a Hebert Dick own goal.
It will be a very tough contest as How Mine would want to make history by winning the $130 000 prize money and getting a chance to represent the country in the Caf Confederation Cup in only their first year in the PSL.
Meanwhile, PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele has urged fans to come in their numbers for the cup final.
“As PSL we would like to encourage fans to come out in their thousands to watch the Mbada Diamonds Cup final.
“It should be a family game. We appeal to fans not to invade the pitch after the game, but to celebrate from the terraces.The match will be beamed live on SuperSport. We are still negotiating with ZBC so that they also beam the match live. But that is subject to confirmation,” he added.