Bosso, Chicken Inn renew rivalry


BULAWAYO - The curtain comes down on the 2015 season this afternoon with the NetOne EasyCall Cup final pitting Highlanders and Chicken Inn at Barbourfields Stadium.

Since Chicken Inn’s promotion into the top flight league in 2011, this Bulawayo derby has added another intriguing chapter on the domestic football calendar.

The Gamecocks enter today’s final high on confidence after they were crowned league champions at the end of last month.

Joey Antipas’ men defied odds in the league campaign when most expected them to easily fade away when the going got tough.

But from week 6, the Innscor-owned side shot to the top of the log and they never looked back until they were crowned champions at the end of the season.

It is this staying power they demonstrated throughout the season which gives Antipas confidence they will seal a league and cup double by winning the EasyCall Cup this afternoon.

“We are in the final and you never know what will happen. We have a chance of doing a double but we need to win that final first,” Antipas said.

“We just need to believe in ourselves and hopefully we will win this final. Usually, finals are difficult but we need to go there with a positive attitude.

“We are still keeping our concentration. We want to try and win the double which we think will cap a fine season for us.

“My players had a hard job and did it brilliantly. We will keep our concentration and take the remaining challenge.”

As for Highlanders, 2015 has been a year to forget for the Bulawayo giants but a win today could vanquish all those bad memories.

After getting rid of Kelvin Kaindu, Bosso began the year under Bongani Mafu but his methods were never really grasped and appreciated by the players.

Highlanders huffed and puffed throughout the year and results were hard to come by until the club executive decided to part ways with Mafu nine games before the league campaign came to an end.

In came the new technical team led by Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu as the technical advisor and Amini Soma-Phiri as the head coach.

At that point, Bosso were flirting with relegation as they were close to the drop zone and needed to pick up a significant number of points to preserve their Premiership status.

Soma-Phiri steadied the Bosso ship as the Bulawayo giants picked up five wins and one draw in those last nine matches to finish the season in sixth place on the log.

In the EasyCall Cup, Bosso have had an impressive run which began in the quarter-finals where they were paired against high-riding FC Platinum away at Mandava Stadium last month.

Highlanders were bombarded by the home side for the better part of the match but they held on for dear life.

2015 Golden Boot Winner Knox Mutizwa then popped up in injury time and scored the all-important goal which carried Bosso into the last four stage of the competition.

FC Platinum had only lost one match in 21 attempts in all competitions and Bosso’s win at Mandava clearly demonstrated they had turned the corner under Soma-Phiri.

In the semi-finals it was not an easy task as well as they came face to face with their old nemesis Dynamos at Barbourfields last weekend.

For nine years, Bosso had failed to defeat DeMbare but that all changed.

Two first half goals from Mutizwa and Obadiah Tarumbwa knocked the fight out of the Glamour Boys.

Bad boy Roderick Mutuma pulled one back for the Glamour Boys in the second half but Bosso held on for a famous win.

Now Soma-Phiri and his players can end 2015 in style by winning the EasyCall Cup and ensure all the bad memories from Mafu’s reign will be completely forgotten.

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