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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Congo and Zimbabwe Afcon qualifier competes for viewership with Highlanders and Dynamos

16:48 EAT 07/09/2018
Raphael Manuvire of of ZPC Kariba and Mthulisi Maphosa of Highlanders
The Battle of Zimbabwe was postponed thrice for fear that Barbourfields could become a political battleground in the wake of disputed elections

The much-anticipated clash between traditional Zimbabwean giants Highlanders and Dynamos will finally take place at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday, amid counter-attraction concerns with the Congo-Zimbabwe Afcon qualifier.

After being postponed thrice for fear that political tensions could spill into stadiums in the wake of disputed Zimbabwe presidential elections, Highlanders will finally host Dynamos on Sunday.

A low turn-out is expected at Barbourfields Stadium as the Battle of Zimbabwe will share minutes with the 2019 Afcon qualifier between Zimbabwe and Congo in Brazzaville.

With Warriors star winger Khama Billiat shaking off a hamstring injury and making the trip to Congo, the Afcon qualifier could draw much attention while the Battle of Zimbabwe could suffer low attendance.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is however not worried about the divided attention between the national team and the domestic match.

“It (Highlanders v Dynamos) is not a counter-attraction. There isn’t any other game locally on Sunday,” PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare told Goal.

However, good news for Dynamos is that former Kaizer Chiefs striker Kingston Nkhatha has been cleared to play following his switch as a free agent from SuperSport United to the Zimbabwean giants.

Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa will not be on the bench at Barbourfields as he would be in Congo Brazzaville assisting Zimbabwe head coach Sunday Chidzambwa.

Joseph Takaringofa would be the stand-in coach. The record Zimbabwean champions are just five points above the relegation zone in a difficult season in which they have already given up hopes of winning the league title.

Highlanders have also surrendered their title hopes, being 22 points behind leaders FC Platinum.