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Platinum to rely on home fans against visiting Highlanders
13/11/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
No pressure ... Norman Mapeza

FC Platinum will rely on their solid home performance this season to reach the semi-finals of the Easycall Cup on Saturday when they face Highlanders at Mandava Stadium.

They have lost just one at their fortress this season, 3-1 against current Premier Soccer League leaders Chicken Inn at the start of the season as they were struggling to find their feet.

Highlanders interim coach, Amin Soma Phiri, acknowledged the tough task awaiting his charges at Mandava this weekend.

“They have been playing well at home this season,” he said.

“I think they have lost once and that is a good record for them and I am sure they will want to maintain that.

“So it will be a tough match for us but we will fight until the end of the match.”

Veteran striker Obadiah Tarumbwa has carried the goal scoring duties of late and should partner Knox Mutizwa come to the party then, the defensive pair of Gift Bello and Kelvin Moyo would have to be on their toes the whole afternoon.

Striker Ralph Matema has been struggling to adjust since his return from South Africa, but can still provide the necessary experience needed by Highlanders.

For Platinum, midfielder Gerald Takwara has fitted with ease in Norman Mapeza’s machine since his mid-season move from Tsholotsho and will be tasked with ensuring the safety of his defence.

Upfront, Brian Muzondiwa, Obrey Chirwa and Marshall Mudehwe are a menace to any defence and with the Highlanders defence having been porous this season, they are certainly in for a hard afternoon.

“We are taking the game like any other, no pressure on the boys. We will just go in with a positive mind set to get a result,” said Mapeza.

There were indications that Highlanders will play the match under protest as they feel the PSL and sponsors were not fair in their allocations of matches in the last three years for the same competition.

No NetOne match has ever been played in Bulawayo since 2011 and Highlanders felt Platinum should have been made to travel to Barbourfields.

Save for Platinum, Hwange, How Mine and Chicken Inn will all be playing away.


Saturday: Caps United vs Hwange (NSS), FC Platinum vs Highlanders (Mandava)

Sunday: Dynamos vs How Mine (Rufaro), ZPC Kariba vs Chicken Inn (Nyamhunga)


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