Ricky Zililo in BULAWAYO
ALL eyes might be on the Battle of the Cities in Harare on Sunday, but Highlanders’ immediate focus is on a fight against unpredictable Triangle United in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields this afternoon. The resurgent Bulawayo giants’ date with CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday might be the big one, but for now, Bosso coach Erol Akbay is focussed on the men from the Lowveld.
The Dutchman revealed he knows little about Triangle having watched them once and is hopeful that his style of play will inspire them to maximum points. Akbay will be without four key players that have been key in his team’s resurgence.
Highlanders are missing the injured trio of attacking midfielder Rahman Kutsanzira and defensive duo of Honest Moyo and Benson Phiri. Also ruled out for today’s match is winger and league’s leading scorer with seven goals, Bruce Kangwa, who has sealed a deal to join Tanzania’s Azam. “What I want is for my team to play good football against Triangle,” said Akbay.
“I know little about our opponents who I watched once and saw that they have strong players and the match may be physical.
“You know morale is high in our camp because of our wins against CAPS United and Harare City, but we’ve to change the style of play because we don’t have Bruce and some of the guys. “However, I’ve faith in the team that we have and I’m sure we will get a good result.”
The Dutch expatriate will be hoping that young players, who include leftback Bukhosi Ncube (18), central defender Peter Muduhwa (22), who man-marked and frustrated veteran striker Leonard Tsipa (34) in that 1-0 win, midfielders Adrian Silla and King Nadolo come to party against Triangle.
They also have 19-year-old striker Prince Dube to penetrate the visiting team’s defence.
Skipper Felix Chindungwe, who missed the CAPS United match due to suspension, returns to action and is among the seasoned players who include Erick Mudzingwa, Tendai Ngulube and Ralph Matema expected to guide the young lads.
Triangle coach David Mandigora said his charges were ready for Bosso. “We’re ready to fight. They play similar football like us and we’re ready,” said Mandigora. Bosso lost top spot to FC Platinum, who beat Chicken Inn 1-0 at White City Stadium in a rearranged fixture.
Highlanders, second on the table with 30 points, three behind FC Platinum can reclaim the top position should they beat Triangle. Triangle are no pushovers and will want to break a three-year jinx of having never beaten Bosso since gaining promotion. They have lost three times to Highlanders, drawing the remainder.
Triangle are on position six with 22 points and can move up the ladder if they stun Bosso. Triangle are visiting Bulawayo for the third time this season. They beat Chicken Inn 2-1 in May. Meanwhile, a survival battle between Tsholotsho FC and Mutare City Rovers is on at Luveve this afternoon.
PSL rearranged fixtures:
Today: Highlanders v Triangle United (Barbourfields), Tsholotsho FC v Mutare City Rovers (Luveve)