BF curse haunts Mafu

BULAWAYO - Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu is concerned with his side’s failure to win at their home ground Barbourfields Stadium (BF).

The Bulawayo giants were knocked out of the Chibuku Super Cup in the first round after losing 4-3 on penalties to city rivals How Mine at BF at the weekend.

This season in the league, Highlanders have only won twice against Hwange and Whawha at Emagumeni. When they beat newcomers Tsholotsho, the Bulawayo giants were the away team.

Bosso’s bad run at their home ground began in March when they lost 2-1 to CAPS United in the Bob91 Super Cup play-off match.

After the win over Hwange, Bosso went on to lose to Chapungu and CAPS before needing a stoppage time penalty to draw with Harare City at home.

The Bulawayo giants bounced back to beat Whawha in their next home match on May 24 before going on a barren run at BF. This failure to win at home has left Mafu perplexed and the defeat to How Mine at the weekend in the Chibuku Super Cup left him with more questions than answers.

“We need to continue working hard and make BF our fortress. Teams should not come at Bf and go back unscathed,” said Mafu.

“We need to stay focused and at least show the desire to win. I feel there is a spirit of togetherness in the team, we have a unit of purpose. We are working together and we understand one another.

When he first arrived at the club at the end of last year, Mafu spoke of the desire to turn Barbourfields into a fortress where teams would struggle at every visit.

But visiting teams have so far failed to show Bosso any respect in their own backyard by holding their own against the Bulawayo giants.

Bosso fans have been irked by their team’s performances at home and the constant jeering now makes the players afraid to take risks which has stifled their creativity according to Mafu.  

“We need the support rather than serious antagonism. It really plays a negative part on the players,” Mafu said after a recent home defeat.

“The players need that support from the fans and that will encourage them. I would like to encourage the supporters to support the team during the match.”

When playing away from home, Highlanders have shown some glimpses of the potential the squad has.

The club’s failure to stamp their authority has left them in ninth place on the log standings with a mere 22 points from 17 matches.

Bosso are closer to the relegation zone than they are to log leaders Chicken Inn, who are on 34 points. 

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