The Caps United-Highlanders clash at National sports stadium in Harare tomorrow is by far the pick of the crop in this weekend’s Castle Lager Premier League matches coming at the back of the midweek’s unexpected but intriguing twists and turns in this term’s race for the coveted trophy.
Report by Kevin Mapasure
Perennial fierce rivals Highlanders and Dynamos lost to Chicken Inn and Buffaloes respectively while Caps, who until Wednesday were slipping further from the leaders, gained ground with a professional job against visiting Hwange.
Caps coach Tau Mangwiro’s mantra has been, “let’s try and be as close to the leaders as is possible”, and for once they narrowed that gap.
Tomorrow Mangwiro has another chance to lead his team to further narrow the deficit against Highlanders which stands at six points going into the double header; he knows all too well it’s no mean task.
Mangwiro was naturally pleased with picking up three points at the back of frustration against Monomotapa and was further elated to learn of other results.
His message to the players ahead of the Bosso match has been simple and straight forward: win at home to pressure Bosso ahead of the Barbourfields return fixture. Double headers between the two teams have some interesting history and the 2004 clashes quickly come to mind.
Would be champions Caps forced a 2-2 draw at Barbourfields before Bosso turned on the power in a seven goal thriller winning 4-3 at the National Sports Stadium. This impeding clash has all the ingredients to match that contest with Caps buoyed by green shoots in their last performance while Bosso cannot afford to drop points again.
“They are the leaders at the moment and you need to be at your best when you play a confident team at the top of the log,” said Mangwiro. “But we have always said the nearer we get to the leading pack the more comfortable we are. This is a crucial period of the season where we play the back to back matches but we want to win at home to have an advantage and put them under pressure when we go to Bulawayo.”
Rahman Kutsanzira, leads the Caps attack, playing on the left side of midfield and having his roots at Bosso will provide interesting sub plots.
The only problem is he is struggling to play a full 90 minutes due to injuries and tiring too early. But he will be pumped up for this one to convince himself he made the right decision to dump the Bulawayo giants for the Green Machine.
Highlanders will be more motivated than ever to collect all three points in a season where the title is a must having surrendered it to Dynamos on the last day last season.
They started well and wrestled the summit from the fizzling out FC Platinum and their recent record against Caps has been impressive.
Having won both games against Caps last term, coach Kelvin Kaindu will be asking for the same and will ask his troops to put a polished show at the National sports Stadium.
Peter Moyo, a midfield menace, had a dream outing when Bosso crushed Caps 3-0 at Rufaro last season and he will be looking to provide the spark.
Bosso have recorded three defeats and all have come at home so they will be hoping to collect all three tomorrow to exorcise home demons threatening their season.
Njabulo Ncube and Milton Ncube playing up-front will be looking to unhinge the Caps defence which has kept clean sheets in their last two games.
Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see Dynamos fans rooting for Caps tomorrow in their title rivalry with Bosso, but they will not expect any favours from the Caps fans when they take on How Mine on Sunday in another tricky encounter.
DeMbare need to recover from their first defeat of the season but a clash with the topflight debutants will be no mean feat.