ZVISHAVANE – Mandava Stadium today play host to the first of two epic Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-finals when Highlanders and Harare City clash in Zvishavane today.
The two clubs are also still in with a chance of winning the Castle Premiership title.
After today’s meeting, City and Bosso will lock horns at Rufaro Stadium in a fortnight in a match both teams need to win to keep their chances of lifting the league title alive.
The Sunshine Boys share top spot with Dynamos on 49 points but are in second place due to an inferior goal difference.
Highlanders are not far behind.
The Bulawayo giants, who lost the 2012 championship to rivals Dynamos on goal difference, are a mere point off the pace and they believe the double is still within their reach.
It is most likely that whoever loses the Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-final encounter at Mandava Stadium today might just end the season without a single trophy in a season that promised so much.
It is also likely that the winner will still have good chance to finish the season with both the Mbada Diamonds Cup and the Premiership title in their trophy cabinet.
But one thing is certain, whilst both teams’ Premiership title hopes lie in the hands of other teams beating log leaders Dynamos, they still have control over the destiny of the richest knock-out competition in their hands.
Bosso come into this match against the backdrop of uninspiring performances in their last two games, losing 0-1 to Dynamos and then being held by relegated Motor Action 1-1 on Sunday.
But Highlanders goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, who has perhaps been the unsung hero in the Bosso camp, says Tshilamoya’s recent dismal results should serve as an inspiration.
“This is our job, we should not be frustrated yes, sometimes results don’t go in our favour but that doesn’t mean we should give up,” Diya told the Daily News this week.
“This is the time when us as players should be pushing each other, we all know what we want. There is no point in giving up. The title and the Mbada Cup are still there to be won.”
Harare City coach Bigboy Mawiwi said his team was fired up for the match but was concerned with the availability of two of his most influential players.
“I still have injuries to Silas Songani and Nathan Ziwini. The two didn’t train yesterday (Thursday) and the other day,” Mawiwi said.
“We still have a number of games to play so you would rather rest them that risk them. But we have adequate reinforcements who can fill in for them.”
Mawiwi says despite the setback, they were confident of beating Highlanders.
“We don’t play with emotions at all; remember we are enjoying ourselves, this is our second season in the league so we don’t have any pressure.”