FC Platinum coach Rahman Gumbo will seek to maintain his Castle Lager Premier Soccer League unbeaten run when his side face fellow miners Hwange at Mandava Stadium on Sunday.
Since assuming the reins on June 1 and getting off to a dream start by beating Highlanders 2-0 at home exactly seven days later, Gumbo has enjoyed a flawless run in the five games that followed.
But on Sunday he comes up against an unpredictable Hwange side he humiliated in its own backyard in his second game in charge, when a Donald Ngoma strike earned the platinum miners maximum points at the Colliery.
FC Platinum top the log standings with 36 points, two ahead of second-placed Motor Action who will not be in league action this weekend as they are playing Dynamos in a Banc ABC Sup8r semi-final match.
Fifth-placed Hwange who trail behind the platinum miners by a staggering 12 points arrive at Mandava Stadium eager to avenge the embarrassment they received on home turf in the reverse fixture.
FC Platinum secretary Philemon Muvengwa is well aware that the coal miners are no pushovers.
“What makes this game special is that it is a battle between miners. I am sure everybody knows the kind of football to expect when mining teams meet. There are always fireworks . . . so this is a very big match. It will be a tightly contested match because they (Hwange) want revenge since we beat them at their home,” said Muvengwa.
“However, we have to win this game. We will continue from where we left off in that victory in the first round.”
Hwange are smarting from another 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Highlanders last Sunday and will be out to avoid a consecutive loss of full points.
Coach Tennant Chilumba yesterday said they would not read much into the platinum miners’ current form and would treat Sunday’s meeting like any other game.
“We will treat this game as just another normal game. We have been training hard so we are ready to take them on and I am sure will come out from there with all the three points. We are trying to forget about the reverse fixture when they beat us. This is a new game,” said Chilumba.
Chipangano, who go into this game boasting a clean bill of health, are the third-lowest scoring team in the league, — just better than Kiglon and Gunners — having managed 14 goals in 17 matches. Despite their poor scoring record, they have conceded two goals less than the platinum miners.
They face a star-studded FC Platinum side where anyone can score, with reigning soccer star Charles Sibanda right on course to repeat his last season’s feat.
FC Platinum new signings, Malawi internationals Joel Chipofya and Chikondi Likwemba, will again be on the sidelines as they are yet to get their international clearance certificates from the South Africa Football Association.