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Derby time in Zvishavane

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Shabanie Mine coach Luke Masomere is diplomatic about his team’s chances of winning the third edition of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Zvishavane derby to be played at Mandava Stadium tomorrow.

Masomere yesterday heaped praise on FC Platinum and said the Mandava clash could go either way although they were eager to claim the derby bragging rights.

Shabanie are enjoying a rich vein of form as they top the log standings and are unbeaten in their three matches.

FC Platinum, who on Wednesday lifted the Independence Trophy, are also yet to taste defeat in the league and have a match against Highlanders in hand.

“We are planning to win and they are also planning to win,” said Masomere. “We are both good sides so it is anyone’s game. If we lose we can easily regroup and try to win the next derby fixture, and if they lose they will also gather their act and fight to win the next match.”

“We are just employing a positive approach to this match and hope it will be our day. FC Platinum have had a good start to the season where they are yet to lose a league match, so it will be a tough match.”

Shabanie are worried about injured midfielder Ray Sibanda, who is being closely monitored by the club’s medical staff. Sibanda, however, did light training on Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday.
The potentially tension-filled derby will likely see ex-Shabanie Mine players Rowan Nenzou and Simon Shoko being subjected to abuse by their former supporters who are likely to dominate the stadium as usual.

Masomere was yesterday trying to cool the possible tension.

“The season is very young so there is still a lot to play for. Of course, this is a derby which is like a cup final, but we do not expect a lot of tension that would go beyond football. Let us try to treat this match as just a normal game. We have started the campaign on a bright side and we hope to continue with the good start,” Masomere said.

Last season, Platinum won the first match 3-1 at Maglas Stadium, which was played as a tribute to their late coach Benjamin Moyo who had passed away on Good Friday. Then assistant coach Philani Mabhena was in charge of Platinum.

The second game also went Platinum’s way as they won 1-0 at Mandava.

Platinum are still celebrating their stunning 4-1 penalty win over Motor Action in Harare on Wednesday, achieved via Qadr Amin’s last-gap leveller which sent the game into the dreaded penalty shootout.

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