CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League log leaders Black Rhinos have been dealt a severe blow ahead of their trip to Shabanie Mine tomorrow, as three of their regular players will miss the match because of suspension.
BY HENRY MHARA
Defender Sydney Linyama, the player of the month for May, and midfielders Donald Mudadi and Cliff Chitsamba have all been ruled out for accumulating three yellow cards.
They are part of a list of five players who will miss the weekend matches through suspension, alongside Godfrey Mukambi of Tsholotsho and Tawanda Nyamandwe of ZPC Kariba.
The news come as a huge blow to the army side who are chasing an unlikely title, having shot to the top of the log standings with an impressive 3-0 win over Highlanders on Wednesday.
A win in Zvishavane will see the side maintaining the top position as the league draws to the halfway stage.
Coach Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa yesterday said he was disappointed that he would miss some of his key players, in particular Linyama, but believed he had able replacements.
“It’s a huge blow in terms of our rhythm as a team. We had established very good combinations and we wanted to continue in the same manner. But we are not crying per se because we have depth. We just hope that those that will come in will be able to match up,” Stix said.
“We will obviously miss Linyama because he has been playing a big role because of his height at the back and his leadership and organisational qualities.”
Rhinos lead the league race with 26 points, the same number as second-placed Ngezi Platinum, who have an inferior goal difference as well as a game in hand.
Shabanie Mine, on the other hand, are mid-table, with 14 points, and go into the match with their tails down, following a difficult spell, where they have collected just a point in their last three matches.
Stix, however, is cautious at the threat posed by the Midlands side.
“They are not pushovers and we will have to work very hard to get a win. We are approaching the match the same way we did against Highlanders,” he said.
Castle Lager PSL weekend fixtures
Today: ZPC Kariba v FC Platinum (Nyamhunga), Tsholotsho v Chicken Inn (Dulivhadzimo)
Tomorrow: Harare City v Triangle (National Sports Stadium), Ngezi Platinum v Bantu Rovers (Baobab), Chapungu v Dynamos (Ascot), Highlanders v Hwange (Barbourfields), Bulawayo City v Yadah (Luveve), Shabanie Mine v Black Rhinos (Maglas), Caps United v How Mine (postponed)