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Pacesetters Highlanders host FC Platinum


Top weekend fixture ... Charles Sibanda battles FC Platinum skipper Thabani Kamusoko

05/06/2014 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
Facing former employers ... Highlanders striker Charles Sibanda
 
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THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League returns this weekend for its 10th round of matches with a blockbuster match between leaders Highlanders and FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

The league had taken a break to accommodate the Warriors-Tanzania 2015 Africa Cup of Nations first round, second leg qualifier which ended in heartbreak for Zimbabwe after the national side was knocked out 3-2 on aggregate after a 2-2 home draw.

Highlanders lead the league table with 19 points from nine matches and have not lost to the Zvishavane-based side since 2012 in the league, although they have lost twice in cup competitions: the Independence Trophy semi-finals and the ZNA Charities Shield.

Platinum’s only victory came in 2011-their first year of promotion to the top flight. Since then, they have lost 1-0, 3-1, 1-0, drew 0-0 and lost 2-1.

In the close season, Platinum snapped up former Bosso striker Njabulo Ncube while the Bulawayo giants recruited Joel Ngodzo, Charles Sibanda and Welcome Ndiweni from the Zvishavane outfit.

From the trio, Sibanda has made the early impressions with a double two weeks ago that helped floor Buffaloes 3-1 at Sakubva.

Platinum boss Lloyd Mutasa will be however buoyed by the return to form of Allen Gahadzikwa while the likes of Nelson Maziwisa and Donald Ngoma have not hit the great heights of the last two seasons.

Thabani Kamusoko has been consistent in midfield, while left back Qadr Amin has returned from an 18 month lay-off with a band and has scored three goals this season.


Plotting to stop Highlanders' league title charge ... FC Platinum coach Lloyd Mutasa

Action, however, starts on Friday when unbeaten ZPC Kariba travel to Bulawayo for the first time this season for a date with Bantu Rovers at Luveve Stadium.

Struggling Harare City will not have wished for a tougher opponent on their trip to Bulawayo than to meet How Mine, who are unbeaten in seven games and are in third position on the log.

In Gweru, Chapungu will welcome inconsistent Caps United at Ascot stadium in what promises to be an exciting encounter while Black Rhinos are at home to equally struggling Buffaloes at Rimuka Stadium in Kadoma.



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Second placed Hwange make the long trip to the Lowveld from Matabeleland North to face Moses Chunga’s Chiredzi.

Chunga has been in the eye of a storm in the last few days over $4000 collected from the gates in their last home match against Dynamos. The tiff seems to have been resolved and Chunga will be in charge of the match.

Defending champions Dynamos return to the giant National Sports Stadium to face off with Triangle, who are handled by one of their former sons Biggie Zuze while Shabanie Mine entertain Chicken Inn at Maglas Stadium.

FIXTURES

FRIDAY: Bantu Rovers v ZPC Kariba (Luveve SS9)

SATURDAY: How Mine v Harare City (Luveve SS9), Chapungu v Caps United (Ascot), Black Rhinos v Buffaloes (Rimuka), Chiredzi v Hwange (Chishamiso)

SUNDAY: Highlanders v FC Platinum (Barbourfields SS9), Shabanie Mine v Chicken Inn (Maglas), Dynamos v Triangle (NSS)





 
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