ZVISHAVANE will this afternoon host a fierce derby when rivals Shabanie Mine and FC Platinum lock horns in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Maglas Stadium.
Report by Sports Correspondent
FC Platinum have the class, while Shabanie Mine might be devoid of class, but boast a determined lot with a diehard attitude. It will only be a matter of 90 minutes before the town of Zvishavane will know which of the two attributes would carry the day.
Yesterday, temperatures in Zvishavane were extremely high, hitting 32 degrees Celsius, perhaps symbolising the tension characterising the duel between the two teams.
The match, arguably the second biggest derby in local football, looks set to be a thrills-and-spills affair as both teams will be chasing a victory to claim the bragging rights in the mineral-rich town.
What makes this match interesting is that there is a lot at stake — more than just the three points the winning team will walk away with at the end of the day.
For Shabanie Mine the match, being played at their favourite hunting ground, provides a platform to end FC Platinum’s dominance over them. The asbestos miners have not beaten the platinum miners since gaining promotion into top-flight football last year.
The best that Shabanie Mine have achieved against Platinum is a draw, in the reverse fixture at Mandava Stadium which ended 2-2 and this time around they hope to turn the tables in their favour.
FC Platinum will come into this match seeking to maintain their dominance over their noisy neighbours.
The asbestos miners exited the cash-rich Mbada Diamonds Cup courtesy of their neighbours and that fact will definitely be enough motivation for them to up their game and aim for a win.
Similarly, FC Platinum will be spurred by the victory and will be out to assert their superiority over Shabanie Mine.
FC Platinum coach Tendai Chikuni believed his charges would not be under pressure as they go into the derby clash.
“We are treating it like any other match in the league and we are not under pressure. The boys are well psyched and are ready to do battle. We want three points out of this match because we really have to start picking up maximum points if we are to finish the season strongly,” said Chikuni.
FC Platinum will be missing services of Benjamin Marere and Allan Gahadzikwa who are nursing injuries.
Elvis Muuya, Shabanie Mine assistant coach, believed today’s match will be a do-or-die encounter for his team who are yet to record a single victory over FC Platinum.
“This is one match we have to win at all costs and we are well geared to collect all the three points. It’s a do-or-die match for us and we cannot afford any slip-ups. There is a lot at stake for us and the players are well aware of that,” he said.
The asbestos miners will be missing captain Rondey Mware, who is out due to an ankle injury, while goalkeeper Victor Twaliki is doubtful due to a wrist injury.
Shabanie Mine industrious forward Tarisai Rukanda returns to the fray after missing last week’s draw against Hardbody owing to an injury and his combination with leading goalscorer might prove a handful for the FC Platinum defence.