AFTER commanding a first team jersey and settling in well at Highlanders, former Chicken Inn captain Felix Chindungwe will miss the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Black Rhinos at the uneven and bumpy Rimuka Stadium today due to suspension.
Chindungwe, roped in to play as defensive linkman after Erick Mudzingwa was moved to the troublesome right-back position, has accumulated three yellow cards from the ZPC Kariba (away) and Bantu Rovers and How Mine derbies at Barbourfields Stadium, ruling him out of today’s tie.
Highlanders head coach Kelvin Kaindu said they were going to miss Chindungwe as he had been effective in that position and today could see him string some changes into the team that could see another new signing Webster Chingodza making his debut as Mudzingwa reverts to defensive midfield.
However, the Bosso coach said he could not get into details on the squad as they had received correspondence on Chindungwe’s suspension after he had already included the Warriors player’s in today’s match.
Simon Munawa, who has previously played as right-back, is injured with Rahman Kutsanzira, Gabriel Nyoni and new signing Munyaradzi King Nadolo are also still out due to injury.
Highlanders played a goalless draw on Sunday against How Mine which saw the return of Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube and new acquisition Pascal Manhanga playing his first game for Bosso after he came in from the bench to replace Valentine Ndaba.
“It becomes difficult because we had already come up with the squad that is travelling to Kadoma. Felix has played an instrumental role and he was part of our plans for tomorrow’s [today] game. We just received the email that he is suspended,” Kaindu said.
After today’s match, Highlanders face perennial nemesis Dynamos at Barbourfields on Saturday, but Kaindu, who has played two successive draws at Emagumeni and remains at the top of the standings with 32 points, says he takes each games as it comes and the most important for now is Black Rhinos.
“Every game is important and for now we focus on tomorrow’s (today)match,” Kaindu said.
Other options for Highlanders are Welcome Ndiweni, Joel Ngodzo and the young and promising Godfrey Makaruse.
Black Rhinos, perching on position four from the bottom of the table with 19 points from 17 matches also, are without three players this afternoon due to suspension.
However, beaming with confidence after holding Dynamos to a 0-0 draw at Rimuka Stadium on Sunday and beating How Mine in Bulawayo in his first assignment with Black Rhinos, coach Jostein Mathuthu says his objective is to do well against every team and Highlanders are not an exception.
Brian Muzondiwa, Wilson Chakanyuka and Obey Gada are suspended.
“That is a big blow. Those are regular players and missing those members of the team at the stage, especially when you are playing a big team like Highlanders, can make you lose rhythm and confidence.
“But we have registered enough players for replacement. As any fair-minded coach you want to do well against any team, be they Caps United, Dynamos or Highlanders. Apart from the suspensions everyone is ready,” Mathuthu said.