How Mine eager to bounce back to winning ways
HOW Mine will be hoping to bounce back from a 0-2 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League loss to Highlanders when they face relegation threatened Tsholotsho FC at Luveve Stadium this afternoon without five key players.
The gold miners had their seven match unbeaten run stopped by Highlanders and are eager to promptly get back to winning ways.
Kelvin Kaindu, How Mine’s coach said central defenders Tapiwa Khumbuyani and Kudzai Chedeu and striker Milton Ncube have been ruled out of today’s encounter because of injuries with goalkeeper Donovan Bernard on national duty while Timothy January is serving suspension. January was red carded in his team’s loss to Bosso. Despite missing five players, Kaindu is optimistic of getting a positive result.
“Our preparations have been good and everyone is raring to go. It is key and vital that we bounce back because the second half of the season is a bit tricky for everyone.
“There’s the survival fight and championship battles which means everyone is at the top of their game.
“This being a derby, will be a tricky game and derbies are just unpredictable.
“They will probably be comfortable to get a point, which means they are likely to sit back and won’t open up the game,” said Kaindu.
With Donovan out, seasoned keeper Munyaradzi Diya who had been relegated to a benchwarmer, will be trusted to guard How Mine’s goal. Kaindu’s headache is probably central defence and it remains to be seen how he will juggle it around.
Nelson Tachi and Victor Kamhuka may partner at central defence with Praise Tonha and Qadr Amini completing the back four.
Playmaker Pasca Manhanga will be expected to unlock Tsholotsho’s midfield and provide scoring opportunities for strikers Tinashe Makanda and Kuda Musharu.
The Zhwane outfit who are second from the bottom, tied on 13 points with anchors Border Strikers and have gone for seven games without a win are hardpressed for a win.
To survive relegation, they have to start winning but How Mine are strong meaning that Tsholotsho should dig deeper if they are to outclass the gold miners.
Tsholotsho come into today’s game smarting from a 1-2 loss to ZPC Kariba, and even though their coach Lizwe Sweswe is confident of escaping the chop, his charges need to man up and start delivering. Tsholotsho are four points behind third from the bottom Mutare City who face Bulawayo City at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
“The players really need to come to the party, come out of their shell and show their technical ability in front of goal. We just need one win and everything will be good.
“The problem we’re having is that week in, week out we play well but fail to score.
“We seem to struggle in the third attacking zone and at times you wonder what really is happening,” said Sweswe.
Without suspended attacking midfielder Mustafa Ponyera, Tsholotsho’s hopes will be pinned on goalkeeper Godwin Saungweme, defending quartet of MacClive Phiri, Nkosi Moyo, Thando Ncube and Spar Dube.
Former Zesco United’s utility player Zimiseleni Moyo and Ocient Ncube will be key figures in Tsholotsho’s midfield with Nixon Gama likely to lead their strike force.
Meanwhile, leaders FC Platinum have a tricky encounter when they face ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium this afternoon.
FC Platinum were held to a 1-1 draw by Chicken Inn last Saturday, taking their unbeaten run to eight games.
Despite being held by the defending champions, the platinum miners remain title favourites and how they respond to the draw will be key in their dream of landing the championship.
Today’s encounter is a tricky one for them as ZPC Kariba is one of the two teams to have beaten them this season.
The electricity generators were the first team to hand FC Platinum a loss in June when they beat the Zvishavane side 2-1 at Mandava.
The other team to have collected maximum points against is Hwange who won 2-1 at home in July.
ZPC Kariba are on position four with 34 points, nine behind FC Platinum and are the championship dark horses. Three points deducted for use of a suspended player – @ZililoR.