HARARE City will be without their star striker Ishmael Wadi when they begin their Chibuku Super Cup defence with a tricky match against struggling Bulawayo City at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
BY HENRY MHARA
The hard-running former Bulawayo City striker suffered an ankle injury in his team’s league match success over Dynamos on Sunday, hobbling off just after 16 minutes, moments after scoring the only goal of that match.
Wadi has been recovering well, according to his coach Mark Harrison, but tomorrow’s match could have come a bit too early for him.
“He is recovering well, I could force him to play, but that won’t be necessary and will be unfair on the player,” Harrison said.
“I will allow him to fully recover and get him ready for the next match. We have a good squad, so we will give another player a chance. I’m looking at rotating the squad. He (Wadi) is doing well, but there are other players who can come in and do a good job for us,” he added.
The Englishman said he will make some changes to his squad, with at least four players who didn’t play at the weekend, set to start tomorrow.
Wadi was clearly the best man on the field on Sunday before the misfortune befell him, with his speed causing problems for the Dynamos defence.
He suffered the injury when he was beginning to pick his form, with his goal against Dynamos his second in successive matches, having also scored for Harare City away in Triangle on Wednesday last week.
Bulawayo City might be struggling for form in the league, as they currently find themselves bottom of the log, but they have always given Harare City a tough time every time these two sides meet.
It was only in 2016 that the Harare side managed to complete a double on their fellow council-owned team.
Last season, Harare was held at home, before losing the reverse fixture in Bulawayo. They have already met twice this season, with Harrison’s men winning at home, before forcing a draw away.
While this appears a potential banana skin for Harare City, but a match against a struggling side, very low on confidence, presents them with a good opportunity to reach the last four, just like they have done in every edition of the competition.
Harrison’s men are the most successful team in the competition, having won it twice since its re-introduction in 2014.
Chibuku first round fixtures
Tomorrow: Harare City v Bulawayo City (Rufaro)
Saturday: FC Platinum v Chapungu (Mandava), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Herentals (Baobab), Black Rhinos v Nichrut (National Sports Stadium), Dynamos v Bulawayo Chiefs (Rufaro)
Sunday: Highlanders v Yadah (Barbourfields), Caps United v ZPC Kariba (National Sports Stadium), Triangle United v Shabanie Mine (Gibbo)