BY HENRY MHARA
HIGHLANDERS vice-chairman Modern Ngwenya believes that winning the Chibuku Super Cup would turn what has been a below par season so far into a successful one for the Bulawayo soccer giants.
Bosso were yesterday drawn against ZPC Kariba for the tournament’s semi-finals.
The other semi-final will see Ngezi Platinum facing off with the winner of the match between Harare City and Triangle who are playing their quarter-final match at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow.
This quarter-final match was delayed because of Triangle’s involvement in the Caf Confederation Cup competition.
Of the teams that remain in the competition, it is Highlanders who look favourites to land the country’s biggest cup competition. They have vowed to win it to make up for what has been an underwhelming season for them this term.
They have, until recently, endured a miserable campaign in the league where they have failed to mount a title challenge. Bosso flirted with relegation at some point.
But since the arrival of coach Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh, things have been looking up for Highlanders in both the league games and the Chibuku Super Cup.
The Dutchman is unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, including wins over Dynamos and FC Platinum in the Chibuku Super Cup.
Ngwenya, who represented his club at the draw ceremony, said: “It’s a very fair draw. We don’t underrate any PSL team these days because all teams are strong. There are no minnows anymore. We respect ZPC Kariba and we hope to continue with our trajectory of winning games with style and flair. These days we are playing with aplomb and the team is a marvel to watch. Our objective is not only to win games but to play scintillating football and entertain the fans. Our boys are up to scratch with that.”
Highlanders are seventh on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League log and seemingly out of the title race.
Chibuku Super Cup, thus, presents them with their only chance of winning some silverware this year.
“For us, winning the Chibuku Cup is possible. We are a bit way off when it comes to the championship race. But the Chibuku Cup is within our control. Right now, we cannot worry about the league championship which is beyond our control. Chibuku Cup is the one we are worried about, and we are looking forward to a very interesting match.
“Highlanders is a very big institution and every game is a cup final. We don’t expect to lose or draw games because our supporters come to the stadiums to see the team win. Each time we lose, it’s a heartbreak, but each time we win it’s song and dance.”
The semi-final games are on this weekend, but the venues will be announced later in the week.
“We can play anywhere even in Bindura or Mutoko and win games. We are not affected by where we will play, but hopefully, I pray that we play at Barbourfields Stadium because the pitch is in a good state,” Ngwenya said.
This is the second time that Highlanders and ZPC Kariba will be facing each other in a space of two weeks after their clash in the league at Nyamhunga a fortnight ago ended in a 1-1 draw.
Bosso star striker Prince Dube was red-carded in that match, and after serving the suspension in the team’s last two matches, he returns to face the Kariba-based side.