Ricky Zililo and Lovemore Dube
HIGHLANDERS FC will be without suspended utility player Felix Chindungwe when they take on Black Rhinos in a Premiership encounter at Rimuka Stadium today.Chindungwe, who has established himself well as an anchorman for Bosso, is part of the eight players that have been suspended for midweek matches and his unavailability will certainly be a blow for Kelvin Kaindu as the dreadlocked player had imposed himself in midfield having taken over from Erick Mudzingwa.
Mudzingwa has been pushed back to rightback in the absence of injured Simon Munawa and going into today’s game, Kaindu might be forced to use either Mthulisi Maphosa or Hillary Madzivanyika in a defensive midfield role.
Chronicle Sport has it on good authority that Highlanders travelled with Chindungwe to Kadoma and only heard that the player was suspended when they were on the road.
“Please note that the player(s) listed hereunder have each accumulated three (3) yellow cards and will be suspended for one match respectively.
“The said player(s) shall not participate in their club’s matchday 18 of the Castle Lager League matches scheduled for the 6th to 7th August 2014,” reads a PSL statement.
Chindungwe is joined by Hwange’s Phakamani Dube, Thabani Goredema of Chicken Inn, Bantu Rovers’ defence stalwart Zephaniah Ngodzo, Black Rhinos trio of Wilson Chakanyuka, Brian Muzondiwa and Obey Gada.
DeMbare’s rookie Blessing Moyo completes the list of suspended players.
Black Rhinos have started the second half of the season on a positive note, beating How Mine and holding Dynamos to a goalless draw under new coach Jostein Mathuthu who took over from Arthur Tutani.
Mathuthu yesterday rallied behind his youngsters and said they are looking forward to their encounter with Bosso.
“We have planned just like we have done for the last two games and our aim is to get a positive result. Our team is made up of young talent and the players’ commitment is commendable. It’s all about hard work, commitment and concentration.
“We played well against Dynamos and How Mine and we want to continue on that right path,” said Mathuthu.
In the first leg Black Rhinos were beaten 3-1 by Bosso in Bulawayo.
Black Rhinos’ hopes will be pinned on striker Milton Kurewa, goalkeeper Samuel Mafukidze, hard-running Lot Chiunga and Jameson Mukombwe.
On the other hand, Highlanders who had an improved game against How Mine on Sunday and will be using today’s game to build their confidence ahead of their weekend epic tie with Dynamos, have striker Charles Sibanda and Njabulo Ncube, Maphosa, winger Valentine Ndaba and Joel Ngodzo who are capable of winning them matches to bank on.
Welcome “Waruwa” Ndiweni who was on the terraces during the team’s 0-0 draw with How Mine returned to the squad replacing young Bothwell Nyathi who was an unused substitute in the Bulawayo derby.
So much of Highlanders’ fortunes this afternoon will depend on their wing play especially the left flank whose leftback Bruce Kangwa’s contribution to the club has gone down.
While at times he comes up with a good defensive stunt, on the offensive he has become a liability as he often fails to send good passes and crosses. At times he holds too long onto the ball delaying attacks.
Innocent Mapuranga and Dumisani Ndlovu have given a fair contribution to the club with Mudzingwa ever attempting in each match to force a save and crosses into the box.
Kaindu will have to up his game especially in the second half when in recent matches he has been beaten by the opposition. His tactical astuteness has been tested and it’s about time he proves he is the right man for the job when he plays Black Rhinos and Dynamos.
Any slip up now will be disastrous to the team which is eager to win the championship which it last won in 2006.
Fans are never content with second best, they want to be the best and the championship is what they have been crying out loud for.
The challenge remains on the coaches and players to produce as fans and management have done their best to ensure Bosso attracts sponsorship and good players.
Meanwhile, Edzai Kasinauyo’s E-Sport will have give-aways on Saturday just before the Highlanders and Dynamos clash at Barbourfields Stadium.
“We are urging fans to keep their ticket stubs when they enter the stadium. We will have Adidas gift hampers that we will give away to three lucky winners at the big game.
“We are looking forward to a great crowd and game. In our own way we are providing incentives to a couple of fans,” said Nesbert Gushure, a spokesperson for Kasinauyo’s company.
E-Sport brockered the Adidas deal for both Dynamos and Highlanders and Kasinauyo as a personal manager for several players, has managed to secure deals for these players including former Highlanders’ Khumbulani Banda who moved to South Africa’s Maritzburg United recently.
Today: Dynamos v Chicken Inn (Gwanzura), Chapungu v Buffaloes (Ascot), Bantu Rovers v FC Platinum (Luveve, 1PM), How Mine v Triangle United (Luveve, 3PM), Chiredzi v ZPC Kariba (Chishamiso), Shabanie Mine v Harare City (Maglas), Black Rhinos v Highlanders (Rimuka)
Tomorrow: Hwange v Caps United (Colliery)
Saturday, August 9: Highlanders v Dynamos (Barbourfields, 3PM SuperSport), Buffaloes v Bantu Rovers (Sakubva), Harare City v Chapungu (Rufaro), Triangle United v Black Rhinos (Gibbo), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie Mine (Gwanzura)
Sunday, August 10: FC Platinum v How Mine (Mandava), Caps United v Chiredzi (Rufaro), Chicken Inn v Hwange (Luveve, 3PM SuperSport)