FOCUS momentarily shifts to the Independence Trophy (Uhuru Cup) on Friday with defending champions Dynamos taking on FC Platinum in Harare in the final while Highlanders play Harare City for third place.
Both Dynamos and FC Platinum will be coming from disappointing outings as they lost their Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches with DeMbare falling 0-1 to new boys ZPC Kariba.
The platinum miners lost at home to on-fire Hwange, who came from a 2-0 deficit to post a 3-2 win at Mandava.
Harare City, who will be vying for the bronze medal against Highlanders, lost their match against Caps United at the weekend while Bosso were successful in their PSL encounter against Shabanie Mine.
Bosso and Harare City will be meeting for the second time this year after the two teams met earlier on this year in the semis of the Bob 90 Cup where Bosso emerged 2-1 winners. Highlanders assistant coach Mark Mathe said the team had to be creative in order to fill in for injured players.
Striker Gabriel Nyoni was injured during the weekend match against Shabanie Mine.
“There are a number of players in the team that we can look at. What people need to understand is that we need to be creative.
“There are players who are known to play in certain positions, but can execute themselves well in another,” he said.
Mathe said reports that Nyoni would be out for six months were not true as the player would be sidelined for the next two to three weeks.
“Initially we thought he had a fracture and that would have sidelined him for about six months. According to the doctor he tore ankle ligaments, but does not have a cracked bone as we initially thought and this puts him out of action for two to three weeks,”added Mathe.
In the absence of Nyoni, Highlanders would have to play Cleopas Dube, Ozias Zibande with midfielders Milton Ncube, Charles Sibanda and Kuda Mahachi capable of getting goals for the team.
Knox Mutizwa, who was given a starting role in last weekend’s match, scored one of the four goals in the team’s victory.
Harare City coach Bigboy Mawiwi said it would be a tough match considering that some of their players are out injured.
Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe, Crybet Muvuti, Martin Vengesai and Nathan Ziwini will not feature in the match.
“We have been going on well despite the fact that several of our players are injured. They are completely out of the match. It will be a tough assignment though I wish it could be played next week. Maybe then our players would have fully recovered. However, the match has to be played and there are other players that are capable,” said Mawiwi.
In their last five encounters, four in the PSL, Highlanders have won twice and Harare City once with two draws.
FC Platinum coach Lloyd Mutasa said they would not focus on their weekend’s loss against Hwange.
“No one wants to lose and we are quickly getting back on track. So far everything has been going well and the players have shown a lot of character as a team. We will not focus on the loss,” he said.
Mutasa said all his charges were ready for selection and had no injuries in their team.
Pressure will be mounting for DeMbare coach Kalisto Pasuwa who has so far won once and lost once in the PSL season which is only two matches old.
Going into last Sunday’s match DeMbare had a number of their players injured and Pasuwa hopes that most of them would have recovered and ready for selection.