By Innocent Kurira
Highlanders FC coach, Mandla Mpofu, says improving the team’s position on the Premier League table is more important than winning the Chibuku Super Cup.
The Chibuku Super Cup is the biggest knockout tournament in the country, whose winners earn a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Confederation Cup tournament.
Bosso face bitter rivals, Dynamos, in the first round of the cup competition at Rufaro Stadium this Sunday.
Highlanders, who have had a league season to forget, find themselves battling to survive the dreaded chop having collected a paltry 28 points from 23 games. With the Bulawayo giants having to endure such a difficult term, cup glory would go a long way in saving their lacklustre campaign.
Dynamos on the other had a miserable start to the campaign, but the coming in of coach Tonderai Ndiraya has seen the side go on a recovery path. From being relegation candidates they have bulldozed their way into the title matrix.
DeMbare sits on sixth position with 34 points, seven points behind log leaders Chicken Inn. Interestingly, the two giants have not won the Chibuku Cup since its return five years ago.
The two sides have met twice this year with Bosso getting the bragging rights on both occasions. Bosso won 2-0 in the Independence Trophy with their goals coming from Bukhosi Sibanda and Tinashe Makanda. In a league encounter played at Barbourfields Stadium back in June, Cleopas Kapupurika was on target when Bosso won the encounter 1-0.
Speaking ahead of the first round clash against their bitter rivals, Mpofu said nothing besides a win was acceptable against their rivals.
“The two teams are rivals, whether it’s a friendly, league or cup game. It’s always a difficult game to play. We are playing Dynamos, obviously we want to win against our rivals and progress to the next round. But in as much as we want to win the cup, the most important thing for us right now is getting points in the league as much as possible. Yes, we want to win Chibuku but we want points in the league more that the cup,” he said.
Bosso have appointed new coach Dutchman, Hendrik Peter de Jongh, who attended the team’s training session yesterday, but he will not be available for this encounter as he is still processing his documents to enable him to start work. Mpofu will therefore lead the black and white army into battle in the weekend clash.
Bosso go into Sunday’s encounter fresh from a 3-1 drubbing of Bulawayo Chiefs in a mid-week encounter.
Tomorrow: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Mushowani Stars (Baobab), Black Rhinos v Tel One (NSS 1PM), Caps United v Harare City (NSS), ZPC Kariba v Hwange (Nyamhunga)
Sunday: Dynamos v Highlanders (Rufaro Stadium), Chicken Inn v Manica Diamonds (Luveve), FC Platinum v Chapungu (postponed) Triangle v Herentals (postponed)
All matches kick off at 3PM unless stated. The Chronicle