How Mine ea­ger to bounce back to win­ning ways

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

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.

Kelvin Kaindu

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