Hwange, Platinum eye silverware


FC Platinum and Hwange will be eyeing their first silverware of the football season this Sunday when they clash in the final of the Bob 88 Super Cup at Rufaro Stadium.

Prize money for the final will be revealed today.
Both teams have already sent the benchmark for what promises to be an enthralling Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season after dismissing Dynamos and Motor Action in the semi-finals of the competition.

Hwange beat Dynamos 2-1 at Barbourfields while Platinum got the better of the Mighty Bulls by the same scoreline in Mutare.

Last weekend, both teams opened their Caf inter-clubs competitions with stunning away victories. Hwange thrashed Jamhuri of Zanzibar 3-0 in the first leg, preliminary round of the Confederation Cup while Platinum decimated Green Mamba of Swaziland 4-2. Now before they play their return legs, both teams have a chance to gauge each other strengths in this final.

For Hwange, a full squad is in place as none of their players have been called up for national duty where the Warriors are in camp for next weeks 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burundi in Bujumbura.

Some of the players in the Chipangano camp include double scorer in the semi-final Francisco Zvikumbawire, footballer of the year finalist Nkosana Siwela, new captain Rodwell Chinyengetere, Gilbert Zulu and goalkeeper Petros Mhari, who has given veteran Timothy Sibanda real competition for the number one position.

In technical manager Tennant Chilumba, they have a real schemer as the Zambian is a man who is not afraid of experimenting for results and challenging his players to do better than the last game.

The 12th man the supporters will all belong to Hwange on Sunday as Dynamos fans are likely to back the coalminers than the Zvishavane side considering their poor relations last season. Dynamos and Motor Action will clash in the third place playoff before the final . The two teams will also meet in the NetOne Charity Shield final next month. Dynamos supporters though assume Platinum are their enemies mainly because of unfounded media reports that goalkeeper Washington Arubi and defender George Magariro were due to leave for the FC Platinum Private Limited-owned team.

In fact, when the rumours were doing the rounds, Platinum coach Rahman Gumbo had made former Masvingo goalkeeper Francis Tizayi his number one target ahead of Arubi while he saw former Highlanders skipper Gilbert Banda as the most able partner for Daniel Vheremu than Magariro.

Platinum will be without Gumbo, who travels to Burundi on the same day, together with strikers Daniel Ngoma and Charles Sibanda. Assistant coach Tendai Chikuni will take charge of the team.

In the absence of Sibanda and Ngoma, the job of scoring will be left to Allen Gahadzikwa, Ali Sadiki, Welcome Ndiweni and Benjamin Marere, who has to prove he deserves to be playing in the Champions League.

Judging by the welcome given to Platinum after their arrival from Swaziland on Monday evening, there is no guessing the green and white will have a large number of supporters at Rufaro.