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Is this the decider for Highlanders?


THE 2012 Castle Lager Premiership title could be decided today should Highlanders falter against FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium and defending champions Dynamos beat Buffaloes at Rufaro Stadium.


DeMbare lead Bosso by two points with 65 and if Bosso lose to FC Platinum and Dynamos win against the army side, they would be out of reach.

However, there is still a pending matter to be adjudicated by the Commercial Arbitration Court for the Glamour Boys and Hwange match.

Since coming into the Premiership last year, FC Platinum beat Highlanders 2-0 when the two clubs first met at Mandava Stadium in June on Rahman Gumbo’s first assignment with the platinum miners.

Former Footballer of the Year Charles Sibanda and Donald Ngoma were on target at Mandava before Bosso beat FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium through a solitary goal by Louis Matawu, who is now at the Zvishavane side.

A rejuvenated 2012 Bosso outfit under the guidance of Zambian gaffer Kelvin Kaindu, outclassed Platinum in May at Mandava with a 3-1 win courtesy of Graham Ncube, Simon “Yola” Munawa and an own goal by former Highlanders defender Zephania Ngodzo.
Platinum got their facesaver through Ali Sadiki.

Highlanders captain Innocent Mapuranga believes Highlanders can still win the championship and bring the coveted trophy to Bulawayo, if they focus on winning their last two games.

Mapuranga, however, urged his colleagues not to put themselves under pressure.

“It’s a tight situation, but I still believe that we will win the championship. We just have to win our games — and the game against Platinum is definitely a must-win. The championship should come to Bulawayo, but my guys should not put themselves under pressure and just focus, win our last games and see what happens,” the steely Mapuranga said.

After Platinum Bosso — who were hard done by nine draws, their first loss with a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Monomotapa and being bundled out of the Mbada Diamonds Cup — travel to Harare for their last match against Blue Rangers.

Masimba Mambare, tipped to win this year’s Footballer of the Year award, will be leading Highlanders against Platinum tomorrow with forceful mid-season acquisition Cleopas Dube upfront.

However, the dreadlocked Sibanda said it was time they picked themselves up after the Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-final exit against Monomotapa.

“Coming from that loss in the cup, we must not lose, but focus on the league. We must lift ourselves up. It is going to be a tough match, but we just need to be basic and take instructions from the coach. We are looking forward to a win against Highlanders,” Sibanda said.

It will be coach Tendai Chikuni’s first game in charge against Bosso and playing away from home.

FC Platinum is home to former Bosso players, the Ngodzo brothers Zephania and Joel and Matawu while Highlanders have ex-Platinum players, anchorman Mthulisi Maphosa and Bhekimpilo Ncube, making the game even more interesting.

Platinum are on seventh position on the log table with 43 points and have a chance of bettering their standing in the last two games, as they host Black Mambas in their final match.

Tomorrow: Dynamos v Buffaloes (Rufaro); Black Mambas v Hardbody (Morris Depot); Chicken Inn v CAPS United (Luveve); Motor Action FC v Gunners (Motor Action Sports Club); Shabanie Mine v Quelaton (Maglas); Hwange v Blue Rangers (Colliery); Highlanders v FC Platinum (Barbourfields); Harare City FC v Monomotapa (Gwanzura)

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