THE Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Select will be hoping to defend their title when they engage Premiership football giants, Highlanders in the ZDF Day Challenge at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
After losing to Dynamos in a penalty shootout in 2015, the ZDF Select went on to beat Caps United 2-0 last year to reclaim the title they had won against their Namibian counterparts in 2014.
ZDF Select, coached by Tendai Chikuni and Stanford “Stix” Mtizwa, have named an 18-member strong side that they hope will have the edge over Highlanders.
Black Rhinos and Chapungu have each provided nine players for the squad, which went into camp on Friday and had training sessions on Saturday and Sunday and Chapungu head coach, Chikuni is taking charge assisted by Rhinos gaffer, Mtizwa with Britto Gwere the goalkeepers’ coach.
Chikuni yesterday said they had been concentrating on coming up with working combinations for a squad to beat Highlanders.
“Highlanders are a good side and they have been together for some time. For us, it is all about motivation,” he said.
“It’s more about working on combination play, as our players come from different philosophies. We hope for the best come tomorrow.”
ZDF Select have retained seven players from last year’s squad that beat Caps United in goalkeeper Herbert Rusawo with in-field players Philip Marufu, Brighton Chandisaita, Maxwell Mavuto, Vincent Mhandu, Martin Mine and Bruce Homora.
Highlanders have also assembled their strongest squad for the challenge, with coach Erol Akbay having included goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, Simon Munawa, Erick Mudzingwa, Ralph Matema, Rahman Kutsanzira, Allen Gahadzikwa, Godfrey Makaruse and King Nadolo with the young Ray Lunga among others.
ZDF public relations director, Overson Mugwisi said they expected a full house for the match.
Winners take home $9 000 compared to last year’s $7 000, with the losers getting $7 000.
“We are expecting a good game and a capacity crowd like it has always been the case,” Mugwisi said.
BLACK RHINOS: Herbert Rusawo, Bruce Homora, Martin Mine, Vincent Mhandu, Lot Chiunga, Brighton Chandisaita, Nelson Kurewa, Gift Mugabe, Farai Banda
CHAPUNGU: Roy Mazingi, Charles Mativenga, Collen Kwaramba, Allen Tavariswa, Philip Marufu, Blessed Mbavarira, Blessed Zabula, Maxwell Mavuto, Ian Nyoni