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Bosso scores major deal – Bulawayo24 News

HIGHLANDERS Football Club has scored a major deal ahead of today’s blockbuster Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Dynamos, which will save the club thousands of dollars.

Bosso and DeMbare lock horns in a rearranged Matchday 5 Premiership encounter at Barbourfields Stadium, with Highlanders’ team heading to the game coming from their new camping home at Matopos National Park.

The Bulawayo giants struck a camping deal meant to promote Matopos National Park with Zimparks.

Bosso immediately went to camp at the tranquil Matobo Hills’ Maleme Lodges yesterday.

Ecstatic about the deal, Highlanders chief executive officer Ronald Moyo said the club will be accommodated for free, with Bosso paying back by having “Visit Matobo” logo on the left sleeve of their playing kit.

Bosso will save about US$2 000 camping fees for each game.
“It’s a partnership that lifts a heavy burden on our strained budget. We are happy to be the pioneers of sports tourism in Zimbabwe.

We are a big club with a special place in the country’s socioeconomic ecosystem. We are hopeful that it’s a partnership will open avenues for both, sport in general and local tourism,” said Moyo.

While Highlanders celebrate a major milestone that eases financial burden, vice-captain Mbongeni Ndlovu said they are fired up for today’s encounter.

Ndlovu said they want to continue their dominance over Highlanders having last lost a league game to their opponents on a field of play in 2015, a match they controversially won 3-2 as Highlanders had a Edmore Muzanenhamo equaliser erroneously ruled offside.

However, DeMbare where to get a “boardroom” win in 2017, being awarded the match on a 3-0 score line for the abandoned fixture at Barbourfields.

Referee of the day Munyaradzi Majoni had to call off the encounter after missiles rained onto the pitch from the Empankweni stand where the Bosso fans were housed, following a Dynamos equaliser by Cameroonian striker Christian Epoupa from what appeared to be an offside position. Only 42 minutes of that encounter were played.

Ndlovu said they were fired up for the game.

“Every time Highlanders play Dynamos there are fireworks. Never mind that their form is down, the clash is embedded with history, bragging rights are at stake and both sets of teams will play for pride.

“We want to maintain our dominance. We owe it to ourselves and fans to post a good result. It won’t be easy, but we promise to give 120 percent as we have been working hard at training.

“So, fans must come and cheer us in their numbers,” said Ndlovu.

Bulawayo is likely to come to a standstill with the streets painted black and white or blue and white on roads leading to Barbourfields Stadium.

Supporters from both sets of teams, no matter the form of their clubs, always head for the encounter optimistic of a positive result.

Highlanders, whose last league championship victory was in 2006 are under the guidance of expatriate Baltemar Brito with Dynamos under the tutelage of Herbert Jompano Maruwa.

The Dynamos gaffer was part of Callisto Pasuwa’s backroom staff when they won four consecutive league titles from 2011-2014.

The technical and tactical shrewdness of both gaffers will be under microscopic eye this afternoon, with the two teams coming from identical three consecutive draws.

Maruwa, who knows the local football terrain, could ride on that when he visits Barbourfields Stadium for the second time this year. On his first trip, Maruwa saw his charges emerging 1-0 victorious against Hwange as they were backed by vociferous fans.

However, his Bosso counterpart boasts of so many years of experience in competitive leagues, including being part of the backroom staff under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea between 2004 and 2007. During his stint at Chelsea, Brito won the two English Premier League championships.

Those EPL championships were won about two decades ago, but one can tell from the way that Highlanders have been playing in their opening matches that there’s some resemblance of the Mourinho-coached style of play of being too defensive and waiting to catch opponents on counters.

With skipper Frank Makarati out due to injury, Dynamos will bank on the Moyo twins Kelvin and Elvis who have been key in their build-up from the back as they are comfortable with the ball and rarely pump it forward.

Central midfielders at Dynamos Tanaka Shandirwa and Donald Mudadi and star player Denver Mukamba are some of the players to watch for DeMbare.

Bosso will look at Ndlovu, Peter Muduhwa, Ariel Sibanda and winger McKinnon Mushore to guide them, with strikers Lynoth Chikuhwa and Stanley Ngala leading their attack.

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Misfiring strikers a big letdown – Bambo – The Herald

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

FORMER Zimbabwe international Moses Chunga says misfiring strikers are letting down the traditional giants Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders in their quest for turnaround this season.

The Big Three, as they are often referred to, started off the season on sound footing but they somehow appear to be losing the plot before the campaign has even reached the halfway stage.

Interestingly, the giants share common traits as they have been poor in front of goal, with their strikers the biggest culprits. It’s quite a paradox that they also have some of the best defences in the league.

Highlanders have conceded the least goals after letting in only three in 11 games while Makepekepe are the second best with only four goals conceded in 10 starts. Dynamos follow in third place with five goals in 11 games.

But the problem with the Big Three is they haven’t been scoring enough, especially in the last five games, which has seen them ceding considerable ground in the championship race.

Bosso have two goals in their last five outings, both coming in identical 1-1 draws with minnows Cranborne Bullets and against GreenFuel last Sunday at Barbourfields.

In total, the whole team has eight goals in 11 games. This is a poor run by any standards. But Bosso’s strikers, unlike the comatose DeMbare brigade, have at least shown signs of life with at least a goal apiece for Washington Navaya, Stanley Ngala and winger McKinnon Mushore this season.

Loanee winger Calvin Chigonero is the club’s top scorer with two goals, courtesy of a brace he scored in the 2-0 win over Yadah at the National Sports Stadium recently.

He is a distant away from the current top PSL leading scorer Fortune Binzi of Manica Diamonds who has so far bagged eight goals.

Bosso’s top goal scorer for last season, Lynoth Chikuhwa, has been a pale shadow of himself. He is yet to get off the mark, despite the big expectations that had been placed on him.

He even missed a good chance to pick himself up when he missed from the penalty spot in the goalless draw against Chicken Inn.

But the backline marshalled by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, experienced pair of Peter Muduhwa as well as Mbongeni Ndlovu, wingbacks Andrew Mbeba and Archiford Faira has been watertight.

They have limited the danger to a goal in every 330 minutes, which translates to a goal in three-and-half games.

This is probably the reason Bosso have remained the only unbeaten team this season and managed to stay in second place, behind Ngezi Platinum Stars.

But the worrying fact is they have played the most draws this season — seven in 11 games.

DeMbare have also featured in many draws — six and winning only three games from 11 is not good enough for the Harare giants.

It all comes back to poor finishing. They have 10 goals in 11 starts and it does not reflect well on the investment put in by the Glamour Boys when beefing up their squad during the pre-season.

Jayden Bakare and Ghanaian Emmanuel Paga are the only strikers that have scored for Dynamos this season while Tinashe Makanda, Eli Ilunga, Tendai Matindife, and Nyasha Chintuli have all fired blanks.

Injured defender Frank Makarati, with two goals to his name, is the Glamour Boys’ leading scorer after 11 games. DeMbare have scored just one goal in their last five outings.

Dynamos legend Chunga is worried by the poor conversion rate and told The Herald the current crop of players at the traditional giants lacked ambition and do not have a big player mentality.

“Barren spells are common in football but if you look at the trends, it’s no longer a spell. It’s more of a worrying situation when players that are being paid to score are not delivering on their mandate.

“To be honest, I think some of the guys playing for these big teams are not good enough. If you cannot motivate yourself when you play for a big team like Dynamos, then you are not a big team player. You are below average and you don’t belong there.

“During our days, I would personally 0challenge myself if it happened that I didn’t score in two or three games. To go for longer than that, I would feel I wasn’t the Moses Chunga that I wanted to be and the Moses Chunga that people wanted to see.

“So I had to push myself, and so did the other players back then. But here we have strikers going 11 games no goal and it looks normal for them.

“I remember, in one season I played 26 games and scored 46 goals. Right now you can count 32 games played so far between the three giants — Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders — and they are nowhere near that figure (with 26 goals between them in a combined 32 games).

“The missing link is the lack of proper development from the grassroots. These guys sometimes lack the basics, which are taught at a young age and then nurtured through different stages until one develops into a complete player,” said Chunga.

Dynamos have one goal in the last five games, which they scored last Sunday in the 1-2 defeat to Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab. This was their first goal at the venue since 2016 when the platinum miners were promoted.

Before the trip to Ngezi, Dynamos had featured in four barren draws against Triangle, Herentals, Manica Diamonds and Highlanders, in succession.

Chunga wants the current crop of players to emulate the yesteryear greats who used to light up the stage especially in the big games.

The Dynamos legend boasts of a landmark feat of scoring 46 goals in a season during the 1986 campaign, something which is yet to be matched by any player in post-independence Zimbabwe.

That impressive goal-scoring record, in the year that Chunga was also crowned the Soccer Star of the Year, was characterised by 10 double strikes and three hat-tricks.

“Fans have big expectations for these players at these big teams; that is why they respond with power when a person like Denver Mukamba waves to psyche them up during a game.

“But that alone is not enough because it’s not the supporters who score the goals. It’s the players, they have to do just that and win games.

“When the goals don’t come as expected, that is when the supporters end up looking for scapegoats and they find them in the referees.

“Of course they (referees) do make their mistakes but the real issue is fans are not getting the value for their money from the people they put their trust in, hence the frustrations and anger.

“At the end they bark the wrong tree by attacking referees like what happened in some matches recently. Violence, however, has no place in football,” said Chunga.

CAPS United supporters caused mayhem at the National Sports Stadium last Sunday after their team was held to a 1-1 draw by new boys Simba Bhora.

Makepekepe’s finishing is also a cause for concern, with just eight goals in 10 matches. Just like Highlanders, they also have two goals from the last five matches.

William Manondo, who was the Golden Boot winner last year with 17 goals, has made a slow start. He scored his third goal last Sunday in the drawn game against Simba Bhora.

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Who can stop Man City? Challengers need big offseason to set up … – New

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By Associated Press

Who can stop Manchester City?

That’s the question being asked at the end of another Premier League campaign when Pep Guardiola’s team proved too strong, winning the title for a fifth time in six years.

A look at who might be best-placed to bring down City next season:

ARSENAL (2nd place)

Juggling another run at the title with the demands of playing in the Champions League looks to be Arsenal’s biggest problem. Squad depth became a growing issue at the end of this season — look at the collapse in the defensive stats following the injury to center back William Saliba, for example — and it will be even more stark when the team has to play high-level games twice a week. Reinforcements at left back, center back and central midfield are needed, especially if Granit Xhaka leaves. However, Mikel Arteta’s squad — the youngest in the Premier League — will be better for the experience of going toe to toe with City before eventually falling short. “We understand where the level is,” Arteta said. “If we want to be the real deal, we can’t be happy with what we have, and we have to be next season much better. I think we have some great foundations, that is true but in sport you have to prove it again.”

MAN UNITED (3rd place)

In Erik ten Hag, United appears to finally have the manager to build a longer-term project after he led the team back into the Champions League as well as into two domestic cup finals. The Dutchman will need further backing in the transfer market, though, which is why it’s crucial that the sale of the club goes through sooner rather than later. The Glazer family is currently weighing up offers from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, though could yet stay in control and get external investment. Amid the uncertainty, Ten Hag gave a warning on Sunday after United’s final league game. “The club knows if you want to play top four and compete for trophies in this league, then you have to invest,” he said. “Otherwise you don’t have a chance, because other clubs will.” Top of the list of requirements is a striker, with England captain Harry Kane a potential option now that he has just one year left on his Tottenham contract.

NEWCASTLE (4th place)

Newcastle has arrived and, given that the Saudi-controlled northeast team has the wealthiest owners in world soccer, it is probably here to stay. Will this summer see the club really flex its financial muscles for the first time since the 2021 takeover, having spent sensibly rather than lavishly in the intervening 20 months? The likes of Callum Wilson, Dan Burn, Miguel Almiron, Jacob Murphy and Joe Willock have been dependable squad members this season as Newcastle secured a return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, but they might be unsure of their futures if the Saudi ownership want to bring in some higher-profile names, which it can afford. Central midfield and wide forwards are areas that needs to be strengthened. The likelihood for the foreseeable future is that Man City and Newcastle will occupy two of the four Champions League qualification spots.

LIVERPOOL (5th place)

A strong end to the season saw Liverpool go unbeaten for its final 11 games and was a sign that Jurgen Klopp might have found a formula that can drive another title push. Trent Alexander-Arnold looks at home in his new hybrid defender-midfielder role, Cody Gakpo appears a natural replacement for Roberto Firmino in the deep-lying striker role and the promise of strengthening in central midfield with younger, fresher legs should address the team’s biggest weakness. However, the big question remains: by not qualifying for the Champions League, will Liverpool be able to attract the type of quality players needed to challenge Man City? Jude Bellingham has been a long-term target, for example, but is likely to choose a team in the Champions League. Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton might prove to be a more realistic option.

CHELSEA (12th place)

Chelsea is the great unknown because who really knows what its American owners will do next? Having spent more than $600 million on players in their first two transfer windows in charge, will Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital go big again this offseason after an unacceptable 12th-place finish? They may not even afford to do that, with the priority likely being trimming a large squad to adhere to financial regulations and give incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino a tighter group of players to work with. Romelu Lukaku’s return from a loan spell at Inter Milan gives Chelsea another option up front, while the futures of midfielders Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are uncertain amid the rebuild.

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