Sikhumbuzo Moyo in BULAWAYO
BARBOURFIELDS comes alive tomorrow afternoon when Highlanders host the Bob92 ZIFA Super Cup final first leg tie against bitter rivals Dynamos with goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda upbeat ahead of the showdown. Sibanda, who was the hero last week when he saved two penalty kicks to propel Bosso to a 4-2 win over Chicken Inn in the ZNA Charities quarter-finals, said they have no intention of taking their foot off the accelerator pedal.
“We are psyched up as players, we want to maintain our form as we count down to the start of the 2016 Castle Lager Premiership season. “Everyone is looking forward to a win on Sunday (tomorrow) and we are convinced that it will happen,” said Sibanda.
He downplayed his top-drawer performance against Chicken Inn, saying its early days yet but he was thrilled with his show. “I am not there yet , it’s too early to say I have reached top form. I hope to even do much better as we move forward,” said the former Plumtree High School pupil.
He urged Highlanders supporters to rally behind the team from the first whistle and make Barbourfields a slaughter zone for Dynamos and any team that comes to Emagumeni. “When we are under attack or trailing, that is when we need our fans the most. Their support will lift our spirits and motivate us to go a gear up.
“We don’t want to feel like we are at Rufaro Stadium because of the noise coming from Mpilo End (housing Dynamos fans), no, we don’t want that and to our fans I say abangazwakali, let BF be a sea of black and white on Sunday,” said Sibanda.
Highlanders skipper Felix Chindungwe was equally confident that Bosso will carry a healthy lead ahead of the second leg in Harare next Saturday. Chindungwe said they will work harder to grind the necessary result.
“Let the ball roll, we will do our best to win and we just have to work extra hard as a team, we just have to win,” said the dread-locked Chindungwe.
He is likely going to be partnered by Erick Mudzingwa in the central defence with Thabani Kamusoko taking the right back position while Honest Moyo takes care of issues on the left flank.
Highlanders have since abandoned their 3-4-3 formation which coach Erol Akbay was trying to introduce.
“I have reverted to the 4-4-2 system after our guys seemed to struggle with the system I wanted them to use,” Akbay said during press conference on Thursday.
Simon Munawa, Bruce Kangwa, King Nadolo and Rahman Kutsanzira are likely to be the four-man midfield while Knox Mutizwa and Ralph Matema are set to complete the starting line-up.
Gate charges, according to the Highlanders chairman Peter Dube, have been pegged at $10 for the VIP, $5 for the wings and $3 rest of the ground.
Meanwhile, Dynamos were expected in the city yesterday.
Fresh from a winless and goalless tour of Malawi, the Glamour Boys, under controversial Paulo Jorge Silva, will be hoping to turn around their fortunes at the expense of their bitter rivals.
They are known to rise from the dead every time they take on Highlanders, regardless of their squabbles or loss of form.
The match will be beamed by giant sports broadcaster Supersport.
Highlanders’ all-weather benefactor Tshinga Dube, who is also the Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees will be the guest of honour at the match.
“I was asked to be the guest of honour and I can confirm that I will be part of the huge gathering on Sunday,” said Dube.