IZIQHOLO RE­GROUP Tsholot­sho play­ers end strike, fo­cus on Bosso

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

TSHOLOT­SHO FC play­ers ended their week-long strike yes­ter­day to fo­cus on the Castle Lager Premier Soc­cer League tie against High­landers set for Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium on Satur­day.

The Zh­wane Boys re­fused to train last week, de­mand­ing their out­stand­ing two months’ salaries.

Lizwe Sweswe, the Tsholot­sho coach, said his charges are geared up for Satur­day’s en­counter.

His side pre­car­i­ously sits on the last rel­e­ga­tion slot in 15th place and Sweswe said they will not be cowed by ti­tle chas­ing High­landers, as they were now fight­ing to sur­vive rel­e­ga­tion.

“We’re not read­ing much into last week’s in­dus­trial action by the boys. Ac­tu­ally that un­fore­seen break pre­sented us with an op­por­tu­nity for the boys to take a break and recharge,” claimed Sweswe.

“What I know is that they want to win and it is matches like th­ese that my play­ers like to shine. Matches against strong op­po­si­tion in which we’ve been counted out are the ones that give us strength. If they think they are go­ing to cruise past us, then they’re mis­taken be­cause I know my play­ers will rise to the oc­ca­sion, as they want to make a name for them­selves.”

Tsholot­sho are two points be­hind third from bot­tom Mutare City Rovers, who take on Dy­namos in Harare on Sun­day.

Sweswe, whose side had an at­tempt at goal ruled out for off­side in the re­verse fix­ture that they lost 1-2 to High­landers, is hop­ing for im­proved match of­fi­ci­atin­gof­fif­fif­fif­fiffi ciat­ing on Satur­day. “In the first­fi­fi­fifi rst leg there were in­stances I felt the ref­eree spoiled the game with some ques­tion­able of­fi­ci­at­ing. I’m one per­son who doesn’t like to com­ment about match of­fi­cials, but I hope this time around we will have a match of­fi­cial who won’t be in­tim­i­dated by the Bar­bour­fields at­mos­phere. If we lose, let it be be­cause of our mis­takes not that an of­fi­cial de­cided the fate of the game,” said Sweswe. In that game, High­landers scored through Knox Mu­tizwa and Prince Dube, while Tsholot­sho’s con­so­la­tion came from their for­mer cap­tain Wil­liam Stima, who moved to FC Plat­inum dur­ing the mid-sea­son trans­fer win­dow in July. How­ever, it was the build-up to High­landers’ sec­ond goal which in­fu­ri­ated Tsholot­sho, as they felt hard done by ref­eree Hardly Ndazi, who ig­nored what ap­peared to be a foul by Rah­man Kut­sanzira on Sim­barashe Goro­godyo. Kut­sanzira seem­ingly used ex­ces­sive force in dis­pos­sess­ing Goro­godyo of the ball in the cen­tre cir­cle and quickly sent a pass to Ben­son Phiri, who clev­erly set up Mu­tizwa, who beat an off­side trap to square the ball to Dube for an easy tap in.

Tsholot­sho’s will be hop­ing goal­keeper Mariy­oni Chang, de­fend­ers MacClive Phiri, Nkosi­lathi Moyo and Than­dol­wenkosi Ncube, as well as mid­field­ers Zimise­leni Moyo, Bruno Madan­hire and Mustafa Pony­era to be in top form as the rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle in­ten­si­fies.

They should, how­ever, ex­pect a tight en­counter, as High­landers will want to quickly bounce back from their dis­ap­point­ing 0-1 loss to Ngezi Plat­inum Stars in the semi­fi­nals of the Chibuku Super Cup.

Bosso are now fo­cus­ing on the league cham­pi­onship and will want to col­lect max­i­mum points to main­tain pres­sure on log lead­ers Caps United, who take on Harare City on the same day.

Sim­barashe Goro­godyo Prince Dube

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