DYNAMOS midfielder Tanaka “Kante” Shandirwa will miss tomorrow’s trip to Bulawayo for the match against Bulawayo Chiefs with an ankle injury and faces a race to be fit for next weekend’s big Harare derby against Caps United.
The diminutive midfielder has been one of the team’s standout performers and best foot forward in their quest for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title.
Kante suffered the injury when he was stamped on by Highlanders defender Andrew Mbeba in an off-the-ball incident in last week’s ill-tempered clash which was abandoned due to crowd trouble.
The full extent of the injury is still to be ascertained but he missed training this week, with caretaker coach Genesis Mangombe confirming that his star man will miss the trip to Bulawayo this weekend.
“Shandirwa is out,” Mangombe said at his weekly Press conference yesterday.
“We registered 30 players and when Shandirwa is playing it means some other guys are on the bench. Now it’s their time to prove themselves. It’s their time to show that they can play.”
Possible replacements include Emmanuel Ziocha, Arthur Musiiwa and Shadreck Nyahwa.
With first choice goalkeeper Prince Tafiremutsa and defender Donald Dzvinyai still to recover from injuries that kept them out of the last two matches, Mangombe will be forced to shuffle his pack again at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
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Dynamos will be looking to pick another set of three points and continue to pile pressure on log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Mangombe’s men, who are unbeaten in their last five matches, are on fourth position on the log standings with 36 points, five behind Ngezi.
That gap will be reduced to two with DeMbare likely to be awarded three points from their abandoned match against Highlanders. They were leading 2-0 when Highlanders fans ran amok.
Despite closing the gap on leading teams to within touching distance, Mangombe has, however, remained coy about his team’s chances of snatching the title.
“The boys are doing well in terms of responding to the tactics. We don’t want to think much about the championship. But we are playing to win games. If we win, we are reducing the gap on the leaders but we don’t want to pile pressure on the players. They need to play their normal game.”
Matchday 23 fixtures
Tomorrow: Bulawayo Chiefs v Dynamos (Barbourfields), Cranborne Bullets v Hwange (Nyamhunga), Herentals v Black Rhinos (Mandava), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Green Fuel (Baobab), Manica Diamonds v ZPC Kariba (Gibbo)
Sunday: Highlanders v Yadah (Barbourfields), Triangle v FC Platinum (Gibbo), Caps United v Chicken Inn (Bata), Simba Bhora v Sheasham (Baobab)