High­landers fringe play­ers get chance Big guns progress in Chibuku con­test

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Ricky Zililo

HIGH­LANDERS will field fringe play­ers for their Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League en­counter against Yadah at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium to­mor­row.

Af­ter see­ing his charges putting up a gal­lant fight to come f rom a goal down and progress to the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Chibuku Su­per Cup at the ex­pense of Yadah on Sun­day, Bosso coach Madinda Ndlovu fears his play­ers might suf­fer burn outs.

“The boys seem fa­tigued and we have a mid­week game. I’ll put my head on the block and use the other play­ers who are still fresh. If we use these play­ers, we will get noth­ing from these boys play­ing them on Wed­nes­day and over the week­end,” said Ndlovu.

To­mor­row’s en­counter presents High­landers’ fringe play­ers an op­por­tu­nity to prove that they de­serve to play for the Bu­l­awayo giants.

Some of the play­ers likely to be given game time to­mor­row in­clude right-back Bukhosi Ncube, who is back to full fit­ness fol­low­ing a long in­jury lay­off, club cap­tain Hon­est Moyo, who has been rel­e­gated to the bench by im­prov­ing young­ster Mbon­geni Ndlovu.

Young cen­tral de­fend­ers Vin­cent Moyo and An­drew Mbeba, mid­field­ers Ben Musaka, Mun­yaradzi Chi­ta­mbwe, winger God­frey Makaruse as well as striker Thabo Lunga are likely to be given starts by Ndlovu.

Ndlovu has de­manded that his play­ers win the Chibuku Su­per Cup and fight for a top four fin­ish in the Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League to prove that the club’s re­build­ing project is on the right track.

Bosso are al­ready out of the cham­pi­onship race and presently sit sev­enth on the league ta­ble with 39 points from 26 games.

While High­landers are chas­ing a top four fin­ish, Yadah, who camped in Bu­l­awayo af­ter their Chibuku Su­per Cup exit, are f ig ht ing f o r sur­vival.

Ya d a h have 31 points, three above the drop z on e in

11th p lace . Bu­l­awayo Chiefs, Cha­pungu and Dy­namos are just a point be­hind Yadah.

Yadah coach Thomas Ruzive said: “Our fo­cus is on sur­viv­ing rel­e­ga­tion, which means we have to work hard. I think the prob­lem we have is that our de­fend­ers at times lack ma­tu­rity and go­ing into our sur­vival fight, we re­ally need to show ma­tu­rity.”

Yadah have ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers in their squad that are ca­pa­ble of lead­ing their rel­e­ga­tion fight such as goal­keeper Steven Chimu­soro, de­fend­ers Brian Chik­wenya and By­ron Mad­zokere, the mid­field duo of Brian Map­fumo and Leeroy Mavunga, as well as vet­er­ans Ralph Matema and Sim­barashe Sit­hole.

Mean­while, for­mer cham­pi­ons Chicken Inn will play host to rel­e­ga­tion threat­ened Cha­pungu at Lu­veve Sta­dium, with Bu­l­awayo Chiefs, who are also hov­er­ing above the red zone, tak­ing on Dy­namos at Ru­faro Sta­dium. — @ZililoR. THE coun­try’s soc­cer giants High­landers, Caps United and Dy­namos kept their hopes of end­ing the sea­son with a tro­phy af­ter pro­gress­ing to the Chibuku Su­per Cup quar­ter-fi­nals.

The three will be hop­ing to avoid each other in the quar­ter-fi­nals to be played on Oc­to­ber 6 and 7.

With league cham­pi­onship chas­ing teams FC Plat­inum and Ngezi Plat­inum Stars get­ting knocked out in the first round, the re­main­ing teams in the com­pe­ti­tion, Harare City, Herentals, Nichrut, Tri­an­gle United and Cha­pungu, are all ca­pa­ble of up­set­ting the giants.

De­fend­ing Chibuku Su­per Cup cham­pi­ons Harare City be­gan their quest to re­tain the tro­phy with a 1-0 win over First Di­vi­sion bound Bu­l­awayo City.

Tri­an­gle needed a penalty shootout, which they won 4-1 against Sha­banie Mine to se­cure pas­sage into the quar­ter-fi­nals. The two teams had dead­locked 0-0 in reg­u­la­tion time.

High­landers sur­vived a pos­si­ble first round exit by com­ing from be­hind to beat Yadah 2-1 in a match the vis­i­tors had them­selves to blame for re­sort­ing to time wast­ing tac­tics in­stead of go­ing for the sucker punch.

Dy­namos eased 1-0 past Bu­l­awayo Chiefs, while Caps United booked a quar­ter-fi­nal ticket fol­low­ing a 5-4 penalty shootout win over ZPC Kariba.

Pre-tour­na­ment favourites FC Plat­inum and Ngezi Plat­inum Stars were booted out of the com­pe­ti­tion, with the for­mer los­ing 5-4 on penal­ties to Cha­pungu af­ter their game had ended 2-2.

Ngezi Plat­inum Stars were shocked by Herentals, who forced the game into penal­ties af­ter hold­ing the cham­pi­onship con­tenders 1-1. Herentals then beat Ngezi Plat­inum Stars 4-3 on penal­ties.

Nichrut claimed the scalp of Black Rhi­nos 2-1 at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium. — @ZililoR.

Hon­est Moyo

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