Bongani Mafu faces a defining afternoon at Barbourfields today when Highlanders host WhaWha in a league match, while Dynamos are starring at a possible upset by Tsholotsho at Rufaro tomorrow.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
After falling down to Chicken Inn in a derby eight days ago to mark a second successive game without winning, Mafu’s job is already on the line but today could be the final straw if he fails to pick maximum points against WhaWha.
The prison wardens are just one place above the basement but have performed giant-killing acts twice so far by felling down defending champions Dynamos earlier this month after they had also humbled highly-regarded FC Platinum.
“They are the team that beat defending champions Dynamos as well as FC Platinum,” said Mafu.
“They can be incredibly good on their day. So this is going to be a tough game for us. I am not going to speculate whether we are going to win or not but we just want to avoid losing. We are coming from a very hard experience against Chicken Inn and we should not repeat that.”
This time, Mafu has released Thomas Chideu, Teenage Hadebe and Nqobizitha Masuku to the national Under-23 after having grudgingly held on to the players in previous Young Warriors assignments.
Bosso will also be without defender Douglas Sibanda who was with the Warriors at Cosafa, as well as the injured Ozias Zibande and suspended Felix Chundungwe.
Eric Mudzingwa is doubtful with injury, while goalkeeper Takunda Mutanga is down with a fever. But Mafu might not get sympathy from Bosso fans despite the depleted arsenal.
“I know how the supporters are feeling. They want results. We need to deliver so that they are not angry,” Mafu said.
Elsewhere, Tsholotsho coach Lizwe Sweswe has warned Dynamos of possible humiliation in tomorrow’s league tie.
Sweswe and his charges arrive in Harare on the backdrop of a five-match winless streak but the coach feels the gods of March 20 can spur them to victory.
“We are still motivated by that win over Harare City,” said Sweswe.
“It made us believe that we can beat any team. Dynamos are just a big team on paper but remember we are competing on the same stage. They are not different from any other team. we are going for three points and I believe we can collect them if we play well.”