Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FRESH from lifting the Independence Cup after edging Dynamos 1-0 at Barbourfields Stadium on Monday, Highlanders will be hoping to carry that momentum when they invade Zvishavane for a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium this afternoon.
Five points separate the two sides heading into today’s encounter, with FC Platinum in fifth place with 19 points from 11 games, while Bosso are in 10th.
For Highlanders, the mission is to collect their first set of maximum points on the road since July 22, 2018, when they edged Triangle United 1-0 at Gibbo Stadium.
Bosso are battling history as they have gone for 27 PSL games without an away win and in the process registering 18 draws and nine defeats, which makes them pathetic travellers.
Today, they are facing FC Platinum for the 19th time since the Zvishavane side was promoted to the topflight in 2011 and Bosso have played second fiddle to their opponents.
FC Platinum have won six of those duels, three at home and three in Bulawayo, while Bosso have managed five victories, three at home and two at Mandava. The two sides have played seven draws.
Highlanders’ last win against FC Platinum at Mandava was 1-0 on August 24, 2014. Since then, they’ve played 10 games, with FC Platinum winning five, while the rest have been draws.
Before that, Highlanders’ other victory at FC Platinum was on May 1, 2012, when they were still under Kelvin Kaindu. Then they beat the platinum miners 3-1.
But today Bosso heads to Mandava buoyed by their 1-0 Independence Cup win against Dynamos on a weekend when FC Platinum and the rest of the Premiership matches were on Easter break.
Highlanders’ coach Mandla Mpofu is wary of his opponents, but believes they have hit the right code to warrant a win in Zvishavane.
“It won’t be easy against FC Platinum because they are a big side that is playing good football, but we will soldier on. We’ve been playing well of late and confidence levels are rising, which is positive when you go to a battle like this. We want a positive result and I think we have what it takes to get a win there.
“We know they like passing the ball around and they’ve some energetic youngsters and my hope is that if we can have the attitude we had last week against Dynamos, we can get that win,” said Mpofu.
The hunt for a first win out of Bulawayo after 27 games for Bosso will be led by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, the defending quartet of Peter Muduhwa, Andrew Mbeba, Mbongeni Ndlovu and Andrew Tandi.
The midfield trio of Nqobizitha Masuku, Adrian Silla and Rahman Kutsanzira is subject to late fitness tests, leaving Divine Mhindirira and the two forwards Stanley Ngala as well as Lynoth Chikuhwa in the running.
Four-time champions FC Platinum will pin their hopes on veteran goalkeeper Petros Mhari, winger Gift Mbweti, who has been turned to a right-back, the central defensive pair of veterans Gift Bello and William Stima.
They also have roving left-back Kelvin Mangiza, the central midfield trio of Rainsome Pavari, Innocent Mucheneka and Juan Mutudza to drive them forward, while attackers Donald Teguru, Walter Musona and Thando Ngwenya are likely to keep Bosso defenders on their toes.
Article Source: The Chronicle