Highlanders, FC Platinum in 23rd meet…Mbola, BB, Manhire in home-coming show

12 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Highlanders, FC Platinum in 23rd meet…Mbola, BB, Manhire in home-coming show Kelvin Kaindu

The Sunday News

Fungai Muderere, Senior Sports Reporter

HIGHLANDERS and FC Platinum will engage in their 23rd clash when the two antagonists meet in a potentially nail-biting Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie deep in the bowels of Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.

Since Pure Platinum Play were promoted into the country’s elite football league in 2011, the two clubs have faced each other 22 times in league matches.

They go into their 23rd meeting separated by a point from 10 outings.

Bosso sit on the apex of the log standings with 19 points after winning five, drawing four times and losing once.

On the other hand the platinum miners have registered five triumphs, three draws and two defeats which puts them on 18 points.

Statistics point to the fact that, since 2011 against Norman Mapeza’s men Highlanders have managed to post six wins (four home and two away).

The Zvishavane-based outfit has on the other hand got the better of the black and white army on nine occasions (five home and four away).

Seven games between the two sides have ended in stalemates that is three at Emagumeni and four at Mandava Stadium with Bosso managing to score a total of 20 goals against Platinum-13 home and seven away.

FC Platinum have so far breached the Bosso defence 28 times, 15 at Mandava and 13 at Barbourfields Stadium.

From a possible 66 points that they could have collected against Mapeza’s charges, the Kelvin Kaindu mentored Bosso has managed to collect 25 points.

Norman Mapeza

In that regard the calculator suggests Bosso are on a 38 percent success rate over Pure Platinum Play.

FC Platinum have managed to amass 34 points from a possible 66 from Bosso which speaks to a 52 percent success rate.

Last season, in a first leg match played on 2 April in Bulawayo, Bosso beat FC Platinum 2-1. The second leg tie played on 26 August in Zvishavane saw the miners dismiss the Bulawayo football giants on a 2-0 score-line.

Kaindu, a Zambian gaffer who is spearheading the Bosso rebuilding exercise, has predicted a mouth-watering encounter saying they will also bank on their ever vociferous fans.

Asked about the possible impact that the ex- Bosso trio of Mbongeni “Mbola” Ndlovu, Brian Banda, Brighton Manhire and other Bulawayo-raised FC Platinum players that include defender Lawrence Mhlanga, Rainsome Pavari and Shepherd Mhlanga, are likely to have this afternoon Kaindu said:

“It’s always difficult to comment on that, they have played for the team and they have been loved by fans in Bulawayo. We recently saw the reception that was given to Bruce Kangwa in the CAPS United game. He was welcomed by the fans, that’s the impact that players have after playing for Highlanders. So it becomes difficult for me to say my opinion.”

The Bosso gaffer, who will have Peter Muduhwa, Devine Mhindirira, Archford Faira, Andrew Mbeba, Lynoth Chikukwa, young Mvelo Khoza and Brighton Ncube among others to bank on, is also aware of Mapeza’s tactical shrewdness.

“I think most teams have tried to prevent us from scoring and we are happy that in the last 10 games, it’s only one game (against Arenel) that we have not managed to get a goal. So we are still working on our finishing. We are playing FC Platinum which is a formidable side, they have a good coach (Norman Mapeza) who can influence the result of the game at any given time. We know what pedigree Platinum have and also their style of play and we hope it’s going to be a match that is going to be entertaining to our fans,” said Kaindu.

“I have always said if you look at the following that Highlanders has locally, we have the best that we can compete with other teams in the continent. We appreciate the support our fans are always giving us, we always see the excitement especially when we get a positive result. We are not going to win all our games. We still want to see the crowd pushing the team when the chips are down. They have played a big role in motivating the team especially when we are playing at home.”

Mapeza said they are geared up to face Amahlolanyama.

“I can’t complain. We are playing a very good side, a quality team that has a good coach. We know they are tricky especially when playing them at Barbourfields. What is important is for us to go there and make sure to do everything well in the phases of the game,” said Mapeza.

In their previous fixture, FC Platinum edged Greenfuel1-0, a result which Mapeza said has re-energised his charges.
“The month of April was terrible for us. We did not do a lot in terms of collecting maximum points,” he said. – @FungaiMuderere

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