Highlanders striker problems
HIGHLANDERS’ striker Gabriel Nyoni has been ruled out for the rest of the season following a hamstring injury picked up during Bosso’s friendly against Chicken Inn on Saturday.
Bosso drew 1-1 against the defending league champions, with Brian Banda scoring for Highlanders, while the Gamecocks equalised through Moses Demera.
Bosso coach Erol Akbay said Nyoni’s unavailability for the remaining two Castle Lager Premier Soccer League games against FC Platinum and Hwange is a blow to his side, which already has striker Nhlanhla Ndlovu on the injury list.
“Things are not good for us because Gabriel picked a hamstring injury against Chicken Inn and with Nhlanhla already out because of an injury; we don’t have many strikers in our team. We must do with the players we have and see how things turn up. Of late Godfrey (Makaruse) has been doing well and we’ll see if we can use him in that role which Gabr i e l played,” sa id Akbay. He will have to tinker with his attacking options and might be forced to start veteran forward Ralph Matema, who has got accustomed to coming from the bench. Matema is likely to partner Prince Dube. Another striker who has seen little action in the second half of the season Kasimero Chimbadzwa might also get a chance in these closing stages of the campaign. The other option for Bosso would be to keep Matema on the bench and play with Dube as a lone striker be ing supported by five midfielders. The ability to score by Highlanders’ midfielders might tempt Akbay to change his style going into the FC Platinum game. “We had a good training game against Chicken Inn because it gave us time to change the style, especially in the second half. In the first half we made many mistakes, giving Chicken Inn too much space. We changed things in the second half and we began to create chances, meaning we have to work on taking up our chances as well as correcting our defensive mistakes,” said Akbay. The Dutchman said the FC Platinum game is a must-win and hoped log leaders Caps United either lose or draw against Ngezi Platinum Stars. Caps United are on 57 points, two ahead of second-placed FC Platinum and four above Highlanders, who are third.
Caps United will be crowned champions if they beat Ngezi Platinum Stars and Highlanders hold or beat FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium this Saturday.
Highlanders’ hopes of creeping back into the title race solely depends on Ngezi Platinum pulling a shocker by stopping Caps United, while they beat FC Platinum.
Ngezi Platinum may turn out to be kingmakers because FC Platinum will also be praying that the Chibuku Super Cup champions beat Caps United.
It won’t be easy for Highlanders as FC Platinum are also keen on maximum points to keep their championship hopes alive. A victory for the platinum miners and a loss for Caps United will take them to the top of the table.