IT’S derby time again in Zvishavane this afternoon when arch rivals FC Platinum and Shabanie Mine lock horns at Mandava Stadium in one of the Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final matches pencilled for this weekend.
REPORT BY SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Shabanie resemble determination while Platinum exude pure class and today’s clash will show which of the two qualities will prevail over the other.
What is at stake for the two teams and their respective sets of fans is not only a ticket to the semi-finals of the cup, but pride, as each team would want to walk away with the “King of Zvishavane” tag after the match.
Police in the town have already issued a stern warning against anyone thinking of perpetrating violence before, during and after the epic clash. Obert Sithole, a staunch Shabanie Mine supporter, called for a peaceful afternoon.
“We know it hurts to lose, but I think it will hurt more to go home injured over a game of football. I urge everyone who is going to come to Mandava to leave their violent tendencies at home. Violence will only portray our game in bad light and if that happens, we the fans stand to lose at the end of it all,” he said.
Sithole went on to predict a 2-1 victory for “Chinda Boys” and urged all Shabanie supporters to rally behind their team.
Thesius Dube, an FC Platinum supporter echoed the same sentiments as Sithole and urged his fellow supporters to observe a peaceful afternoon at Mandava.
“As FC Platinum, we do not believe in violence and I know our neighbours are against violence too. To that end I want to urge anyone who has any violent tendency in them to either deal with it before the game or stay at home. We are totally against violence. We want a peaceful afternoon,” Dube said.
Dube added FC Platinum would win the encounter 2-0.
“They will not score a single goal I tell you. We are going to bang in two and they will not reply,” he declared.
Even neutrals had a word ahead of the match. Collen Shumba, a Highlanders supporter, predicted a fierce battle which will end in a stalemate and head for penalties.
“It’s a difficult game considering that Shabanie have not beaten FC Platinum before. Interestingly, Shabanie are playing better football than Platinum. I foresee a penalty shoot-out and I don’t know which team is going to win,” he said. There are so many interesting aspects to this match. FC Platinum have lined up a victory party at the Platinum bar where local dancehall chanter King Shaddy will perform. On the other side, their neighbours have lined up a victory party that will coincide with the official opening of a bar owned by the team patron Obert Dube.
The league’s leading top goalscorer Nelson Mazivisa will face off with his former teammates and talk in the town is, will the striker score against FC Platinum?
Another interesting thing worth noting ahead of the match is that both coaches, Tendai Chikuni and Luke Masomere, have not recorded victory over each other. Shabanie Mine will be seeking their first-ever win over “Pure Platinum Play” since the platinum miners were promoted into the top-flight league, while Platinum would want to continue with their dominance.