WILL Highlanders add any piece of silverware to their cabinet in the 2014 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) season?
Today the draw for the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals will be held in Harare, a few days after the Bulawayo giants were embarrassed 1-4 by Dynamos in the inaugural TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup final at the National Sports Stadium.
Bosso beat Shabanie Mine 1-0 in the first round of the Chibuku Super Cup at Ascot Stadium on August 17 through a goal by mid-season signing Pasca Manhanga — a cup tournament they won on its inauguration in 1973, beating Mangula 3-0 when it was the Chibuku Cup and going on to win it four times in 1980, 1984, 1986 and 1989.
Highlanders have played in six cup tournaments this year and have failed to grab a single piece of silverware.
Their name goes into the hat today in the Delta Beverages-sponsored competition whose winner will pocket $75 000.
The last eight in the tournament are Bosso, Caps United, How Mine, Black Rhinos, Triangle, Chiredzi, FC Platinum and Harare City.
With Barbourfields, White City and Luveve stadiums undergoing renovations for the Region V Games and Hartsfield Grounds not meeting SuperSport standards for TV coverage, Highlanders will play their quarterfinal match outside Bulawayo.
The 2014 journey has been disastrous for Bosso starting with the CG Msipa Charity Tournament on March 1 when they lost to PSL returnees Chapungu 1-2 in the semi-final at Ascot Stadium after a 0-0 stalemate in regulation time. The final was eventually won by FC Platinum.
Then on March 16, Bosso lost 0-2 to Dynamos in the final of the Bob 90 Super Cup at Rufaro Stadium.
In the same month, FC Platinum bundled Bosso out of the Independence Trophy, beating them 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out at Barbourfields Stadium after another 0-0 impasse in regulation time. They went on to lift the Uhuru Cup with a 3-0 win on penalties over Dynamos in the final on April 18.
On May 18, FC Platinum once again beat the Bulawayo giants 3-2 in the Zimbabwe National Army Charities semi-finals at Emagumeni and thumped troubled Caps United 6-0 in the final at Mandava on Saturday.
Bosso were on the receiving end once again on July 19, succumbing 3-4 in a penalty lottery to How Mine in the quarter-final of the One Wallet Cup at Ascot, the final which now pits Dynamos and Triangle.
The latest for holders of the country’s major cup, the Mbada Diamonds Cup, was the embarrassing 1-4 defeat by Dynamos on Saturday.
Despite that run, Highlanders chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede said they were not overly worried yet and the Bulawayo giants would grab the Chibuku Super Cup, retain the Mbada Diamonds Cup and still be on track to wrest the league championship from Dynamos.
“We are not pressing the panic button yet. We are certain that the two remaining trophies (Chibuku and Mbada) are ours. If you see yourself winning everything then something is wrong somewhere,” he said.
“Dynamos are not in the Chibuku Cup, but have you heard them mourning? You win some and you lose some.
“Every loss is a cause for concern, but I can tell you we have assembled a formidable squad and that’s evident from the last few games that we have played. It’s a pity the rhythm was lost on Saturday. Technically, in the last two years we were joint winners in the league and we are winning it this year,” Gumede said.
However, the league championship seems to be slipping away from Bosso, who are now three points behind Dynamos following the goalless draw with Buffaloes at Hartsfields last Wednesday with DeMbare beating Chiredzi 2-0 at Rufaro with eight games remaining in the league.
Although Gumede put up a brave face, Highlanders head coach Kelvin Kaindu is definitely a man under pressure especially from the multitudes of Bosso supporters who have grown impatient with him.
Bosso recently signed former Ajax Cape Town and How Mine striker Simba Sithole with Njabulo Ncube returning in mid-season. They have also grabbed Manhanga, Tapiwa Dephistara and Kudzanai Machazane.