DYNAMOS and Highlanders have been dealt a massive blow in their bid to land the Castle Lager Premier Soccer title this season as they will each miss two of their most influential players in their next league fixture due to suspension.
BY HENRY MHARA
Log leaders Dynamos, who are bidding for a third consecutive title, will be without Patson Jaure and Russel Madamombe for their match away to Hwange while third-placed Highlanders will be without Masimba Mambare and Bruce Kangwa when they host FC Platinum at Barbourfields.
In a circular sent by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) yesterday, the four are among the nine players that will not take part in their club’s Week 22 round of league matches scheduled for September 29 and October 4-6 after accumulating three yellow cards.
How Mine’s Khumbulani Banda, Buffaloes skipper Prosper Matizanadzo, Brian Muzondiwa of Black Rhinos, Praise Tonha — the diminutive Monomotapa midfielder – and Yves Ebabali of Monomotapa are the other players that have been affected by the ban.
While most of the players will wait until next weekend to have their suspensions effective as the bulk of the league matches have been suspended to pave way for the BancABC final this weekend, Muzondiwa’s ban will come into effect this Sunday when his side host Black Mambas in a rescheduled league match at Rimuka Stadium.
PSL yesterday said they had brought forward the match at the request of SuperSport.
“SuperSport are broadcasting the BancABC final at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane and they said it would be very expensive for them to broadcast only one match so they have asked us to fixture another match this weekend,” said PSL competitions manager Elisha Mandireva.
“That’s the only league match that will be played this weekend and the rest of the games will resume next weekend.”
While the other clubs that have their players suspended will certainly feel hurt, it is Highlanders and Dynamos who will be hit hard.
Not only will they lose two players each, but the affected players have been very influential for their clubs.
For Dynamos, Jaure has been their defensive rock this season and is arguably the main reason why the Harare giants have conceded only 11 goals, the fewest by any club in the league this term while Madamombe is beginning to fit into the team.
The former Monomotapa left-sided midfielder has been weighing in with very important goals for the club who top the league table with 41 points, two clear of second-placed Harare City.
As for Highlanders, Kangwa, their roving left back is without doubt their best player this season while Mambare, though not as efficient as last season, has been very valuable for his team in the race for the title they last won in 2006.
Black Rhinos vs Black Mambas (Sunday at Rimuka Stadium, live on Supersport 9 at 1500hrs)