Title chasers Simba Bhora and Herentals U20 meet at Wadzanai stadium on Saturday in a showdown that might have a bearing on who wins the Northern Region Soccer League (NRSL) and also settle a score that was birthed during the reverse fixture.
Herentals U20 coach Paul Benza bragged after the 2-0 win in the reverse fixture that there was no way his charges were going to lose to lose the match to ‘old ballies’ in reference to Simba Bhora’s squad which has quite a number of players in their 30s.
Now the two teams meet again at a critical phase when the result of their clash is going to point towards the destiny of the championship title as Simba Bhora lead the Herentals U20 by two points with five games before the end of the season.
A win for Simba Bhora will see them stretch the lead by five points while a win for Herentals U20 will see them back at the top by a point.
Both coaches Benza and Simba Bhora coach Arthur Tutani however refused to be drawn back to the comments of the reverse fixture but instead chose to promise fans a treat on Saturday.
“It’s a new game all together, we don’t dwell on the past. It’s going to be a tough game because Simba Bhora are a good side, with experienced players. But we are playing without pressure so we are expecting a good result,” Benza said.
“What I can also guarantee is that we are going to give fans value for their money through entertaining football. Our mandate is to give the best for our club, the fans and the league at large.”
Tutani said they have a bigger responsibility than their rivals as they carry the aspirations of Mashonaland Central province of bringing the league title to the province and the region.
“A win for us will not only be celebrated in Shamva but the whole Mashonaland Central province. So for us it’s a huge responsibility and the players know it and are prepared to deliver,” Tutani said.
“Herentals U20 are a very good side, with a disciplined defence so it’s not going to be an easy task but we are determined to get a win. We promise fans maximum entertainment. They should come in numbers and enjoy themselves.”
It will also be a showdown of the best defence in the league and the most lethal strike force. Herentals U20 have conceded only nine goals in 26 matches with Simba Bhora having scored 67 times in 27 games with 26 of the goals coming in from Tinashe Balakasi.
Third placed Golden Eagles who are on a bye this weekend will be watching the match from a distance with keen interest as a draw between the two sides coupled with a win for them over CUMA Academy in their next match will see them draw closer.
Northern Region Soccer League Fixtures:
Friday 19 August 2022
Ngezi U19 1-0 Commando Bullets (Fulltime)
Saturday 20 August 2022
Black Mambas 14:00 Chinhoyi Stars (Morris Sports Club)
Simba Bhora 14:00 Herentals U20 (Wadzanai Stadium)
Karoi United 14:00 Harare City (Chikangwe Stadium)
Chegutu Pirates 14:00 Cam & Motor (Rimuka Stadium)
Sunday 21 August 2022
Banket United 14:00 CUMA Academy
Come Again 14:30 PAM FC (Rimuka Stadium)
Trojan Stars 14:00 Golden Valley (Trojan Mine Stadium)
- NRSL Times