Highlanders wary of FC Platinum threat

HIGHLANDERS are aware of the danger that FC Platinum pose when the two sides clash in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA
SPORTS REPORTER

The Zvishavane side has sailed past Highlanders in their last two previous cup games.

Their first win was during the Zimbabwe National Army Charity Shield semi-finals at Barbourfields Stadium last month.

Allan Gahadzikwa grabbed a brace in the match with Mitchelle Katsvairo getting the third for FC Platinum while Bosso got their goals from Ozias Zibande and
Erick Mudzingwa.

In March, FC Platinum beat Bosso 6-5 in a penalty shootout in the CG Msipa Charity Shield semi-final at BF.

Highlanders beat FC Platinum 1-0 in a pre-season friendly at BF before they lost 0-2 at Mandava Stadium in another pre-season friendly.

However, Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu says they are geared up for the match.

“It is too early to talk about our position on the log table, but we thank God for the position. FC Platinum is a team that is stable financially and they have so much depth. They have been quite good in the games that we have played against them this year.

“This is a much different game we are playing because we approach a cup game and a league match differently. The better side is going to win, but we will deploy an attacking team. It is every coach’s dream to walk away with three points. However, football is played on the field of play, not by talking,” he said.

He said some of his players were undergoing assessment.

“Mthulisi Maphosa is injured. Rio (Peter Moyo), Kuda Mahachi, Charles Sibanda and Simon Munawa are carrying slight knocks, but they are being assessed,” said Kaindu.

Highlanders leapt to the top of the log table following their 3-1 win over Buffaloes in their last league match played at Sakubva Stadium on May 25. Sibanda grabbed a brace in the match while his third crack at goal was diverted into the nets by Buffaloes defender Liberty Chakoroma.

On Saturday, he put Highlanders ahead when they played Notré Dame from America in an international friendly match at BF despite that the match ended 2-2.

What makes the fixture to be more exciting is that Sibanda faces his former paymasters for the first time in a league encounter since his move from FC Platinum.

“We do not want to talk much about individuals. He (Sibanda) scored a brace against Buffaloes and scored on Saturday (against Notre Dame). He has been instrumental, but it all boils down to team effort. As for FC Platinum striker Njabulo Ncube, we know what he is capable of. But his coach is the best person to talk about him,” said the Bosso coach.

FC Platinum coach Lloyd Mutasa predicted a tough assignment ahead.

“This is one of the toughest encounters. Bosso are one of the best teams in the league. They have done well so far and we have so much respect for them. But we want to be able to stand up and be counted. It will be a tough match, but the better team of the day will be victorious.

“Anything is possible. We have beaten them this year, but this is a different ball game altogether. I am happy that Charles Sibanda has done well for Highlanders. He is proving his mettle there. It is good for Highlanders that he is playing well. As a former FC Platinum player, we will have a plan for him,” he said.

FC Platinum are in position nine on the log table with 12 points from nine games and thumped Triangle United 4-0 in their last league encounter.

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