Highlanders out to reclaim top spot

Bulawayo giants Highlanders will be looking for nothing short of victory when they come face to face with army side Black Rhinos at Barbourfields this afternoon.

BY our Staff

Today’s match will mark the beginning of Bosso’s Barbourfields party, as the former champions are set to play their next five games at their favourite hunting ground.

Bosso will play Rhinos this afternoon before facing How Mine and Bantu Rovers to complete the first half of the 2014 soccer season at Barbourfields.

The two matches to mark the beginning of the second half of the season will be against How Mine and Bantu Rovers, again at Barbourfields.

The Bulawayo giants will only start playing out of the City of Kings in week 18 when they will travel to Kadoma to face Black Rhinos at Rimuka.

According to head coach Kelvin Kaindu, the next five games will be used as a morale booster for the team which is gunning for the championship which has been slipping through their fingers at the last stroke of the clock for the past three seasons.

After losing their first game of the season last weekend to Dynamos, Highlanders with 21 points, welcome Chipembere hoping to reclaim the top post which they have been occupying for the most part of the season.

Highlanders last won in Mutare on May 25, when they beat Buffaloes 3-1 courtesy of Charles Sibanda, who currently is the Bulawayo giants’ main man.

As Bosso host Black Rhinos, Hwange — who also lost their first game at home last week to Chicken Inn but remained at the helm with 22 points — travel to Harare for resurgent CAPS United who are not very far with 20 points albeit perched on position six behind Hwange, How Mine, Dynamos, Highlanders and ZPC Kariba.

CAPS United last week beat Chiredzi 2-0 at Chishamiso Stadium after having hammered Shabanie Mine 3-0 in the capital following an embarrassing 0-3 defeat to PSL returnees Chapungu United at Ascot Stadium.

Also in the picture are CAF Confederation Cup representatives How Mine, who have not lost a match after the first two defeats to the start of the season, which coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube attributed to the African Safari fatigue.

How Mine are also on 22 points and are in Chiredzi this afternoon against troubled Triangle United at Gibbo Stadium.

The top of the table coaches speak of the competition in the PSL this year ahead of their matches this afternoon.

Nation Dube — Hwange: “It has been very tight. With the way things are going, we can drop to position six or seven any time. I think most of the teams have started doing well. The other thing is that the era of the Harare teams dominating in numbers is past and now they have to travel more often to play outside the capital.”

Dube says he will miss Erick Chipeta who left last week for Chippa United and Rodwell Chinyengetere on trials at Polokwane City but would have to give chance to their replacements.

Philani Ncube — How Mine: “Competition is stiff but this is good for football. What it means is that, the clubs and coaches are really up to it. As for us small as we are, we are in the right direction. We are going to Triangle with the aim of getting three points but there are three results in football.”

Kelvin Kaindu — Highlanders: “The competition has been good where we have four teams occupying the top position inter-changeably. There is lack of consistency in all the teams. No team will win three games in a row and for every other game that you play there is always going to be a change and the change will be there to the end.”

Kaindu would not speak of the absence of Milton Ncube and Peter Moyo saying that was administrative.

Taurai Mangwiro — CAPS United: “What I have seen is that there hasn’t been a dominant team. We are still within reach with four defeats in 12 games. Teams have been dominant at home and not that good on the road. Players have been spread all over the country and I would say we are playing derbies week in week out. It’s no longer like in the past. As CAPS United, we have struck the right chord at the right time. We are not going to underrate Hwange and hope to collect maximum points at home.”

Fixtures
Today: Triangle United v How Mine (Gibbo 1pm SS9), Highlanders v Black Rhinos (Barbourfields), Buffaloes v Chapungu (Sakubva), Caps United v Hwange (NSS).

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