Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS’ stocky midfielder, Nqobizitha Masuku, returns to his area of operation when the Bulawayo giants play host to struggling Harare City at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
Masuku, who bosses the midfield area by intercepting dangerous opposition passes while also executing defence splitting passes to the frontline, missed last week’s 1-2 loss to Caps United after accumulating three yellow cards.
His absence was clearly felt in the Tshilamoya line up.
“We have a clean bill of health and Nqobizitha Masuku is back from suspension, which is a big boost for us.
“We are going into this game to get three points. We don’t want to lose or draw at Barbourfields,” said Bosso gaffer Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu.
While Highlanders have been struggling to grind a win on the road, they have been slowly turning Emagumeni into a fortress and tomorrow might as well be another good day in office for the Independence Cup holders, especially with the return of Masuku.
Gifted with the rare ability of reading the game that sees him predict passes and moves before the opponent executes them, Masuku is also able to tightly mark his opponents, in the process preventing the opponent from passing clean and dangerous balls.
“A good defensive midfielder has to be aggressive and get “stuck in,” but that aggression has to be controlled or you could end up getting carded often.
“Knowing when to be aggressive and when to back off is one of the skills that you will learn over time, but it’s important that you aren’t passive even when you first start playing the position.
“Most players dislike being pressured every time they get the ball on offence, and it’s a defensive midfielder’s job to make them as uncomfortable as possible. Every time the ball comes into your area, make sure that the opponents know that you are there by getting close to them in a good defensive stance”.
This analysis, by perfectsoccerskills.com, was probably crafted with Masuku in mind.