HIGHLANDERS will be hoping for better fortunes when they head back to Ascot Stadium this Sunday, the venue for their last cup heartache.
The last time the Bulawayo giants arrived at the Gweru Stadium on July 19, they left empty handed after a 3-4 loss to How Mine, to crash out of the One Wallet Cup at the quarter-final stage.
On Sunday, they return to the same venue for a tricky clash against a very unpredictable Shabanie Mine side in the first round of the Chibuku Super Cup.
The match has been moved to Gweru following the closure of Barbourfields Stadium for renovations.
Bosso are heading into this fixture on the back of a string of poor results including a morale sapping 0-1 defeat to Dynamos in a league match in Bulawayo last Saturday.
Before losing to their number one enemy, Highlanders had lost to Black Rhinos on the same scoreline. The result came after some disappointing draws against lowly Bantu Rovers and How Mine.
Highlanders head coach Kelvin Kaindu is hopeful of better results this time around although he ducked questions on the venue saying he was yet to be told officially on the changes.
“As much as one can be discouraged after losing, it is how you respond that matters. Football is about winning, drawing or losing.
We are grateful to the sponsors of the tournament as it shows they want football to progress and our hope is that we progress to the next stage of the tournament. Our camp is okay except for (Simon) Munawa, Gabriel (Nyoni) and (Rahman) Kutsanzira.
They have started training, but as players who have been on long lay-off, I cannot say they will be playing on Sunday; it is too early to say,” Kaindu said.
Shabanie Mine gaffer John Phiri said it was not going to be easy against a wounded Highlanders side. However, he was hoping he had enough arsenal to dismiss his fancied opponent.
“As you know we have been having changes with some players gone and some coming in. Highlanders are a tough team considering that they are coming from two straight defeats. But this is a cup game and it can go either way. It’s a money game and the better side will win,” Phiri said.
Shabanie Mine have Wellington Kamudyariwa, Allan Tavariswa, Rowan Nenzou, Edmore Tsoro and Xolani Ncube who could carry the day for them against Highlanders.
Across the Midlands in Zvishavane, Sheunesu Chaka will take charge at How Mine against Chicken Inn in another first round of the Chibuku Super Cup on Sunday.
Hwange host Triangle at the Colliery in another first round tie of the same tournament on Sunday.