The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: We'll Bounce Back - Mapuranga

HIGHLANDERS captain Innocent Mapuranga believes the Bulawayo giants will come right and get their revenge against Dynamos following their disappointing show in the Bob '89 Super Cup. Bosso succumbed to a 4-0 defeat at Rufaro on Sunday to bow down 6-1 on aggregate in the two-legged final of this lucrative pre-season tournament. Highlanders had lost the first leg 2-1 at Barbourfields a fortnight ago in a close contest.

Mapuranga said they were hoping to overturn the deficit, judging from their good performance in Bulawayo, and he was upset by the way things turned out as they ended up losing by a bigger margin.

The experienced defender said they lost the plot when they allowed Dynamos to take an early 2-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes despite their explosive start.

"We lacked concentration as a team and I think that is why we lost the game. The game was flowing and there were lots of chances for both sides and they took theirs and we missed ours. That made the difference.

"I also think those two goals came early and because of lack of concentration and we tried to lift ourselves but unfortunately it was not our day," said Mapuranga.

The defeat meant Highlanders, who have not beaten their opponents in the league since 2006, continued to live in the shadows of their biggest rivals.

The last time they beat Dynamos in any competition was on April 18, 2011 when they powered to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory to lift the Independence Cup at the National Sports Stadium after the match had ended goal-less in regulation time.

Mapuranga said Bosso will not lose hope as they now go back to the drawing board to fine-tune their team in preparation for the new season.

The Bosso skipper said he has confidence in the squad as the Bulawayo giants, who narrowly lost the title to Dynamos on goal difference last season, managed to retain all of their key players from that campaign.

With such players as Masimba Mambare, Peter "Rio" Moyo, Mthulisi Maphosa, Ozias Zibande and Bruce Kangwa, they have a strong squad but Dynamos gave them a good lesson on Sunday.

Bosso played well in the opening minutes as they threatened the DeMbare goal but their finishing was not up to scratch and once they fell behind early, the plot was lost as it meant they needed to score more goals while at the same time dealing with Dynamos' dangerous forays into their territory.

Their decision to engage in an open warfare worked in Dynamos' favour as it meant that Bosso were more vulnerable at the back where Mapuranga and Atlast Musasa could not stamp their authority.

Double scorer Patrick Khumbula and defender Partson Jaure gave Dynamos the upper hand in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Khumbula struck again in the 39th minute and then half-time substitute Simon Munawa turned the ball into his own net with his first touch, soon after the restart, to secure the trophy for Dynamos and the US$100 000 winners' prize while Highlanders took home US$70 000.

"We played a good game but unfortunately we lost. I think next time luck will be on our side. Everyone put in 100 percent effort and you cannot single out anyone to blame for the defeat.

"Now we will have to go back to the drawing board so that next time we will be able to get a good result against them.

"No doubt we have a good team and hopefully we will take our chances when we play again," said Mapuranga.

Dynamos midfielder Devon Chafa, who was one of the best players on the field, said teamwork won it for the Glamour Boys.

Chafa said Bosso were a formidable side and warned that it would be dangerous for anyone to write them off because of the big defeat in the Bob '89 Super Cup.

Chafa, who has taken his game to another level, fought tough midfield battles where he played alongside Stephen Alimenda as twin defensive midfielders.

"Honestly speaking, we did not expect to win by such a big margin, but it's just that it was the way it had to be on the particular day because it was a cup final.

"It's great we won but the margin of the result doesn't count because it might appear like Highlanders are a small team when in actual fact they are giants.

"We are preparing for the Champions League and it's just that we have been working on our play and we corrected our mistakes with each game we played in the last month or so.

"For example, the last time we met them in Bulawayo we were not pressing them hard going forward and this time we had a go at them.

"Highlanders are a very good side and we still expect tough assignments against them in the future," said Chafa.

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