By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Bulawayo giants, Highlanders, and their Harare rivals Caps United will tomorrow literally swap their usual hunting grounds with Bosso taking to the field at the National Sports Stadium while Makepekepe troop into Luveve Stadium.
Both teams are facing Premiership debutants. Bosso come face to face with the students, Herentals College while Makepekepe play against Bulawayo Chiefs in the only high profile match in the city which could also be a big pay day for Chiefs as The Green Machine have a decent following in Bulawayo.
Caps United were held to a 0-0 draw by backdoor entrants Harare City in their season opener last week while Chiefs put up a brave fight on the road that saw them score two goals against Yadah before the Prophet Walter Magaya owned outfit came back from behind to level matters.
Chiefs will obviously enjoy passionate support from Bulawayo soccer fans who do not want another local side to bid the PSL goodbye come end of the season.
Caps United will, however, be a different team to Yadah who survived the chop by a whisker last season and as such an exciting match is expected at Luveve.
For their part, Bosso, who chalked a 2-1 win against seasoned and physical opponents Black Rhinos before close to 14 000 cheering fans at Barbourfields Stadium, will be eager to register a first win in the capital in 450 minutes of league football having failed to collect a single set of three points the whole of last season under Dutchman Erol Akbay.
Bosso scored their goals through Godfrey ‘Baba Jukwa’ Makarutse and vice captain Gabriel Nyoni while the army side got their consolation through the temperamental skipper, Lot Chiwunga.
Highlanders drew their first match last season 0-0 against Harare City, got pummelled 0-3 by Black Rhinos on their return to the capital and a third trip saw them come back to Bulawayo with a 1-3 loss to Caps United.
They then managed to pick up a point on their fourth visit against perennial rivals, Dynamos, drawing 1-1 but lost their last match in Harare against Yadah 1-2.
“It’s news to me that Bosso did not win a single match in Harare last season but also from what I am hearing, Black Rhinos has been giving us torrid time but they just fell last week so anything is possible. What we are looking at is not the place but the team that we are playing against and try to zero in on the game that we are going to play. I will not go with what happened to Highlanders last season, I was not part of that, the players that are there now were not part of that, our project is that we want to improve every game even though we are not playing for the championship,” said Bosso coach, Madinda Ndlovu during the team’s Thursday presser.
Herentals coach, Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva, told our Harare Bureau that he was fully aware of the stature of the opponents they will be facing tomorrow and declared that they were ready for the Bulawayo giants.
He said it was through games involving big giants that stars are born adding that victory was their main aim tomorrow.
“It is in games like these, against the big teams, where stars are born. We have potential and at the moment we have no injury worries and everyone is looking forward to bounce back from that Ngezi defeat. We are well aware of the stature of the team we will be facing this weekend, but as a team we are ready and we will do our best.
“The good thing is we are having challenging encounters in the opening games, we respect Highlanders as one of the big teams in the country, but we are also ready to play them,” said the youthful mentor whose side anchor the 18 team log table.
Table toppers Bulawayo City will be out to cement their position on top of the table when they take on Harare City at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon while ‘rude’ boys ZPC Kariba get their 2018 premiership season officially underway with an away fixture to army outfit, Black Rhinos, at the National Sports Stadium.
The electricity generators last week refused to fulfil their opening match against reigning champions FC Platinum which was set for the giant Harare stadium on the basis that their homeground Nyamhunga Stadium had been approved few hours before kick off.
The league had unfortunately already fixtured them to play in Harare.
Details later emerged that an official involved in the inspections (name supplied) had informed ZPC Kariba that their stadium was going to be approved and therefore should not travel to Harare.
*Match Day Two fixtures*
Today: Mutare City v Chapungu (National Sports Stadium, 1PM), Black Rhinos v ZPC Kariba (National Sports Stadium, 3PM), Harare City v Bulawayo City (Rufaro), FC Platinum v Yadah FC (Mandava), Nichrut FC v Chicken Inn (Ascot)
Tomorrow: Herentals FC v Highlanders (National Sports Stadium), Triangle United v Ngezi Platinum (Gibbo), Dynamos v Shabanie Mine (Rufaro), Bulawayo Chiefs v Caps United (Luveve)
Table P W D L F A GD Pts
Bulawayo City 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3
Ngezi Platinum 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
Chicken Inn 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
Nichrut 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
Shabanie Mine 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
Byo Chiefs 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
Yadah FC 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
Caps United 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Harare City 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
FC Platinum 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ZPC Kariba 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Black Rhinos 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
Dynamos 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
Mutare City 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
Triangle 1 0 0 1 0 0 -1 0
Chapungu 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0
Herentials 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0 The Chronicle