WITH the 2014 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) season getting underway this weekend, Chapungu United watched Highlanders fall to FC Platinum in the Independence Cup semi-final at Barbourfields Stadium (BF) on Sunday.
The airmen will face Highlanders in their first match at Ascot Stadium in Gweru and head coach John Nyikadzino on Sunday led his troops to watch Bosso at BF in the Uhuru match.
“We did not play any game at the weekend and we just travelled to watch the match. I am a football coach and my mission at BF was just to watch the football match. The bulk of the squad was there save for two or three guys. We are ready for the start of the league and we want to collect maximum points. We have been ready as of yesterday, with a clean bill of health,” Nyikadzino said.
Chapungu beat Highlanders 2-1 in a penalty shootout in the CG Msipa Charity Shield semi-final after the match had ended goalless in 90 minutes on March 1.
The PSL returnees have goalkeeper Roy Mazingi, Blessed Mbavarira, Brighton Mugoni, Calisto Maheya, Lawrence Maphuya and Rodwell Mhlanga in their squad.
Last year’s PSL runners-up, Bosso, have had a poor showing in pre-season and if they continue with that performance into the league it might spell disaster for the Bulawayo giants.
Highlanders have played six matches, won only two, scored three goals, losing to Chapungu in the CG Msipa Charity Shield, to Dynamos 0-2 in the final of the Bob 90 Super Cup, 0-2 to FC Platinum in a friendly match at Mandava and on Sunday in the Independence Cup semi-final.
They beat Harare City 2-1 at BF to reach the final of the Bob 90 Super Cup and also beat Platinum 1-0 in another friendly match at BF.
Highlanders head coach’s Kelvin Kaindu’s frequent trips to the UK for the Uefa B Licence coaching course might return to haunt Bosso.
Assistant coach Mark Mathe was in charge of Highlanders against Harare City, in the first friendly match against FC Platinum and on Sunday. Kaindu arrived a day before the match against Chapungu in Gweru.
How Mine, smarting from the Orange Caf Confederation Cup second round exit after losing 0-2 to Bayelsa United FC in Nigeria on Saturday, will start against league champions Dynamos at home.
Chicken Inn, under Joey Antipas who took over from Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu late last year, will be home at the weekend against bruised Harare City, who were booted out of the Independence Trophy by city rivals Dynamos.
Hwange will be away to Buffaloes while Bantu Rovers entertain Black Rhinos in Bulawayo.
Bubbling with confidence after beating Highlanders on Sunday in the Uhuru Cup semi-final at BF, Lloyd Mutasa’s FC Platinum will take a trip to the Lowveld for the first match against Moses Chunga’s Chiredzi FC.