Akbay promises 'great show' in final

Akbay promises 'great show' in final
Published: 18 April 2017 (249 Views)


HIGHLANDERS coach Erol Akbay has promised a "great show to remember" when Bosso take on arch-rivals Dynamos in the final of the Independence Cup at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.

Highlanders booked their place in today's Uhuru Cup final courtesy of a 4-3 penalty shootout win over FC Platinum after their semi-final tie had deadlocked 0-0 in regulation time at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday. Dynamos edged Caps United 1-0 in Harare on the same day.

Highlanders arrived in Harare yesterday afternoon, with Akbay optimistic of a good afternoon for his boys.

He said he wasn't worried about losing today and just wants his players to enjoy their game.

"I think it's good that it's Highlanders and Dynamos in the final of the Independence Cup and I'm sure that is what everyone wanted. What I've demanded from my boys is to play good football, which is what people want to see on celebrations like these. As Highlanders, we want to give people a great show to remember and that show is to play good, exciting football," said Akbay.

Highlanders lost last year's Uhuru Cup final 2-1 to Chicken Inn. In that match, Bosso took an early lead through Bruce Kangwa, but Chicken Inn equalised through ex-Highlanders' striker Obidiah Tarumbwa before Mitchell Katsvairo sealed the victory.

It seems Akbay is trying not to exert pressure on his charges, knowing that nothing is friendly in Highlanders and Dynamos' meetings.

With pride at stake, both sets of players are expected to give their best.

Another incentive is the prize money, with winners taking home $15 000 and losers $10 000.

Despite taking a strong side to Harare, Akbay insists that winning against Dynamos today is not important.

"Winning or losing is not important; we just want to give people a celebration that they deserve," Akbay said.

However, Akbay's comments will not matter much to Highlanders' followers who will be rallying behind their team and hoping for a victory.

On the other hand, Dynamos will not be taking the game lightly, as they would want to keep fans in their corner following a sluggish Premiership start.

Dynamos started the season in low gear, losing 0-1 to FC Platinum before surrendering a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 against Triangle United in their second PSL game.

On Sunday they beat league champions Caps United 1-0 in the semi-final of the Independence Cup, a result that calmed the nerves of their players and probably boosted their confidence.

Dynamos badly need to win against Highlanders to prop up their league campaign.

With so much at stake for Dynamos and Highlanders, who lost their second league game to Shabanie Mine at home, today's encounter is equally important.

Highlanders striker Rodrick Mutuma is set for an emotional return to Harare against his former paymasters and will be desperate to open his account for Bosso against Dynamos.

Mutuma, his striking partner Prince Dube, young midfielder Brian Banda, Peter Muduhwa, Simon Munawa, Allen Gahadzikwa and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda are players to watch for Highlanders.

Dynamos' hopes will be pinned on midfielder Denver Mukamba, new striker Ntouba Christian Joel of Cameroon, skipper Ocean Mushure, forward Quality Kangadze and Manuel Madiranga.

Caps United and FC Platinum will battle it out for the bronze medal at White City Stadium in Bulawayo this afternoon.

- chronicle

Tags: Akbay, Bosso, Final,
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