PSL release bumper Easter programme


The Highlanders-Dynamos Easter Monday Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match will headline a bumper holiday football fiesta which kicks off on Thursday.

The extravaganza, according to fixtures released by PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele yesterday, will also see the first Zvishavane derby between newcomers FC Platinum and Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium on Good Friday.

With league matches having been postponed this weekend to cater for the semi-finals and final of the Independence Trophy, the league on Sunday released fixtures which will see all teams play two games in four days.

Action kicks off on Thursday with four league matches that will see leaders Caps United face Blue Ribbon at Rufaro Stadium.

The Green Machine, league and cup winners in 2004 and 2005, have a 100% record in the league having accounted for Zimbabwe Saints (5-3), Shooting Stars (5-2) and Shabanie Mine (4-0) all in Harare.

With 14 goals in three matches and having managed to keep a clean sheet in their third game, the Moses Chunga-coached side will bank on the exploits of red-hot Under-23 striker Simba Sithole and their new-found engineman Stephen Alumenda in midfield.

In the other matches, Shooting Stars face defending champions Motor Action at Gwanzura, desperate for their first win of the season after firing motor-mouth coach Gishon Ntini while Black Mambas are at home to Chicken Inn.

At Luveve Stadium, Zimbabwe Saints host Masvingo United, as they also seek their second win of the season after two losses to Caps United and Black Mambas.

On Good Friday, Hwange play their third consecutive game away from home when they face seemingly resurgent Dynamos at Rufaro.

Highlanders will also be in the capital, taking on 2009 champions Gunners at the bumpy La Farge Stadium, Monomotapa and Kiglon face off at Gwanzura while the first Zvishavane derby between moneybags FC Platinum and Shabanie explodes at Maglas.

On Sunday, Caps United, as usual, are back at Rufaro to face Black Mambas while Bulawayo will play host to two games on the same day for the first time this season.

Saints will be at White City Stadium to take on Blue Ribbon while in the high-density suburb of Luveve, Chicken Inn welcome Shooting Stars.

On Monday, five games have been lined up with the Bosso-DeMbare match the major highlight to finish off the long holiday.

The two clash today in the Independence Trophy final at the National Sports Stadium, their second battle this year, and meet for the first time in the league.

In the first meeting, the Venture for Victory Cup final, Dynamos won the match 1-0 at Rufaro.

For Highlanders, this game means more than results, they need money.

Saddled with debts and with their property set to go under the hammer this season, a win does not matter for the Bosso executive but the number of fans that will watch the match.

No doubt, the Dynamos faithful in Bulawayo are more passionate about their team as they can only see it three times in the City of Kings and will throng their designated stand, the Mpilo End, to the brim, each forking out $2.

For Highlanders, plus their 10 000 loyal fans expected at the game, bringing the total to an average 15 000 spectators, it can only mean former coach Egyptian Mohammed Fathi can seal his divorce from the beleaguered side.

On the same day, defending champions Motor Action are at home to Shabanie Mine, FC Platinum are at home against Gunners, Hwange host Monomotapa at the Colliery while the clash between Masvingo and Kiglon at Mucheke winds up Easter Monday.