Thursday, September 20, 2012

Injuries Scare Hit Bosso Camp

BULAWAYO soccer giants Highlanders have been hit by an injury scare which will require defensive duo of Eric Mudzingwa and Bruce Kangwa to undergo late fitness tests ahead of the Shabanie Mine game at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday. Highlanders' team doctor Xolani Ndlovu confirmed the developments yesterday and said they were closely monitoring the players.

Mudzingwa, a vital cog at central defence for Highlanders, was voted man of the match against Blue Rangers in the opening round of the Mbada Diamonds Cup, has an ankle injury while Kangwa is having his knee treated.

Already Bosso are missing the services of defender Bruce Tshuma who is expected to return from injury in a fortnight.

However, Highlanders' faithfuls should not despair as exciting attacking midfielder Masimba Mambare is back at training and will be available for selection.

"The good news is that Mambare is back at training and is available for selection. On the gloomy side, we have two players who have injuries and these are Mudzingwa and Kangwa.

"We are keeping an eye on them and I can be in a better position to comment whether they are fit for the Shabanie Mine game towards the end of the week," said Ndlovu.

Should the two regular players fail to recover on time, former Bantu Rover Dumisani "Fazo" Ndlovu will stand in for Mudzingwa in central defence where he will partner skipper Innocent Mapuranga while Honest Moyo could play as a left wingback.

It is on the offensive side where Highlanders have lost steam and the return of Mambare should aid their cause when they seek to tear apart their opponents.

Mambare was missed during the last Castle Lager Premiership match against Chicken Inn as Bosso failed to open Chicken Inn's defenders because of lack of creativity.

No one could take on opponents the way the former Motor Action winger does.

Young Ozias Zibande, scorer of the winning goal against Blue Rangers at the weekend and Cleopas Dube who is itching to pay back Bosso who signed him from ZPC Hwange, are competing for attacking places with Graham Ncube who is becoming impotent at goal.

Bosso with 47 points from 21 outings are two points behind log leaders and defending champions Dynamos.

If ever they entertain any hopes of winning the championship which they last lifted in 2006, the Bulawayo giants should avoid dropping points so that they keep pressure on Dynamos.

Coach Kelvin Kaindu should now take a gamble as he has been with some misfiring players like Graham and try out Beavan Chikaka and Cleopas Dube in attack.

Shabanie Mine, who are third on the log and trail Bosso by nine points, will not be pushovers and they will give the Bulawayo giants a good run for their money and Highlanders should keep a close eye on Chinda Boys' strikers Nelson Mazivise and Tarisai Rukanda.

Meanwhile, Hwange's gaffer Tenant Chilumba is confident that his team's bad spell that has seen the coalminers going for five games without a win will soon come to an end.

Hwange last won in Week 16 when they beat Caps United 3-2 at home. They went on to draw against Gunners, Harare City and Chicken Inn and lost by identical 2-1 scorelines to Motor Action and Shabanie Mine.

The Zambian expatriate said the root of their poor form was that the players had concentrated on the Caf Confederations Cup too much.

"What we need to do is concentrate on our games and if you look closely, we have been losing concentration and losing games we were supposed to win. I must admit our performance has been below par but we are working on improving. I believe this spell shall come to pass.

"The problem is that we put too much focus in the Caf competition and when we were knocked out the players did not take that well and morale went low. It has really been tough but the management has been supportive and we hope to come out of this," Chilumba said.

Hwange have a tricky tie against Monomotapa in Harare, a side who they beat 5-1 in the first leg played at the Colliery Stadium in May.

Chipangano will be without the services of their injured striker Francisco Zvikumbawire.

Chilumba will bank on veteran Gilbert Zulu and national team attacking midfielder Rodwell Chinyengetere to lead the attack.

David Boriwondo, Gerald Ndlovu and Aaron Katebe are expected to marshal the defence.

Saturday: Black Mambas v Chicken Inn (Morris Depot), Monomotapa v Hwange (Rufaro), FC Platinum v Caps United (Mandava)
Sunday: Hardbody v Gunners (Ascot), Highlanders v Shabanie Mine (Barbourfields), Dynamos v Motor Action (Rufaro), Blue Rangers v Quelaton (Gwanzura), Buffaloes v Harare City (Sakubva)
By Sbue
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