MIDFIELD ace Moses Muchenje and goalkeeper Ryan Harrison have been ruled out of Harare City’s Chibuku Super Cup clash against Bulawayo City at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon, adding to the injury woes of the defending champions who are also without star striker Ishmael Wadi.
BY HENRY MHARA
Wadi picked an ankle injury in the team’s league match success against Dynamos on Sunday, hobbling off after just 16 minutes, moments after scoring the only goal of the match.
Muchenje and Harrison played the full match, but Harare City coach Mark Harrison yesterday told the media that the duo also picked injuries in that game and will miss this afternoon’s action as the team begins its cup defence.
Consequently, Harrison said there would be changes in the starting line-up, with youngsters going to be given an opportunity to shine.
“There will be a few changes tomorrow(today). Ryan is out with an injury, so is Moses Muchenje and Ishmael Wadi, so we are missing three senior players. We will be a relatively young team in the big scheme of things, but I believe the young players have a lot to offer and they are developing nicely. They are starting to show through, so it’s a time for them to stand up and see what they can deliver,” Harrison said.
Harrison has already introduced some youngsters to the team this season, with Tatenda Tumba and Wilfred Muvurimi playing regularly. Tellmore “Kante” Pio is the latest budding star to be introduced into the team and his excellent performance, especially against Dynamos, has seen the 22-year-old midfielder receiving praises.
Harare City go into the match with their tails up, having won their last two matches in the league. In contrast, their opponents today are winless in their last eight matches. They are bottom on the log table and almost assured of getting relegated at the end of the season.
The hosts are the most successful club in the competition, having won it twice since its re-introduction in 2014, and they have not failed to progress past this stage in all the editions.
However, Harrison is not looking too much into current form and history.
“History counts for nothing in the end, it’s what we do on the day (that counts). We are up against a team which is fighting relegation in the league,” he said.
“They see this as probably an opportunity to go and get some glory this season. I guess very similar to what happened to us last season; we were relegated and won the Chibuku.
My mentality is that every game is a new game; history counts for nothing. Look at Dynamos at the moment, their history counts for nothing. They are fighting relegation, so it doesn’t make any difference, whatsoever.
“We have to be very careful. We have to enter into the game with a good mentality, knowing full well it’s going to be a tough battle and that on the day, there has to be a winner so we have to be prepared. If it goes to full 90 minutes plus injury time, we have to prepare for penalties as well, but we enter into the game positive, trying to win it but I don’t look at the history, it’s what we do now.”
Chibuku first round fixtures
Today: Harare City v Bulawayo City (Rufaro)
Tomorrow: 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)