BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
WITH the country celebrating 42 years of independence from colonial rule, Highlanders and Dynamos remain two of the biggest football teams in Zimbabwe in terms of achievement.
A lot will be at stake when the two giants of local football clash in the Uhuru Cup at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
This year’s edition of the Presidential Independence Day Trophy will be bankrolled by Sakunda Holdings, who also sponsor the two teams.
Since Independence, Highlanders and Dynamos have won 23 league titles between them with the latter boasting of 16 championships and the former winning seven.
However, for the Bulawayo side it has been 16 years since they celebrated winning the local league and have had a slow start to the current championship race where they sit in 10th place after 11 matches.
Dynamos on the other hand are looking good for another title as they lead the competition, tied on points with Chicken Inn, but enjoying a superior goal difference.
The Glamour Boys are also the current Uhuru Cup defending champions. They beat Highlanders 2–0 at the National Sports Stadium last year while Bosso won it in 2019.
Clashes between the country’s biggest clubs are, however, known to frown at the form book as well as history.
Dynamos captain Partson Jaure admited that it is going to be a tough match, but believes the team has what it takes to retain the Cup.
“As Dynamos every game we play is like a final, but this one feels like a finals and a derby so we will try to push until the last minute of the game,” Jaure told Standardsport.
“The day is very important one for us as a country because its the day when we attained our independence. It is what makes this match important.
“Last year we played in Harare, we won and this time again here in Bulawayo we are determined to win again.
“The fact that we are on top of the league does not put us under pressure, but we are where we are on the log because of the great work we have done so far. If anything, it makes us push more as a team,” he said.
Bosso will be looking to make the most of home advantage to wrestle the Uhuru Cup from their arch rival.
Captain Ariel Sibanda refused to look into last year’s defeat to Dynamos in the invitational competition.
“We have forgotten about what is in the past; it’s the past. We want to have the cup here in Bulawayo,” Sibanda said.
“We are preparing very well. It is going to be a difficult game but we have to make it a point that we make our community happy. We know what is at stake and it is going to be a good game.”
Highlanders were sweating over the availability of one of their captains Nqobizitha Masuku who has been struggling with an injury.
Musuku has been one of the top performers for Bosso so far this season and will be looking to continue his good form against his team’s biggest rivals.