TROUBLED Hwange, buoyant after dismissing Monomotapa 3-0 away from home before the Premier Soccer League (PSL) break, entertain red-hot FC Platinum at the Colliery today as the Castle Lager PSL matches resume.
In their last outing, Hwange thumped Monomotapa 3-0 in Harare before the same side was booted out of the BancABC Sup8r Cup by Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium last Saturday, losing 3-1.
After narrowly surviving relegation following the last two emphatic victories over Quelaton (5-0) at Luveve and Blue Rangers (7-1) at the Colliery last season, Chipangano appear to face the same predicament this year with 10 matches remaining to wrap up the PSL programme.
Hwange, coached by Nation Dube, perch precariously on position 13 on the log table with a mere 21 points, seven adrift of anchors Motor Action. If they are to survive the chop this year, the coal miners have to continue from where they left off when they clobbered Monomotapa on August 14 at Rufaro Stadium with goals from Richard Jongwe, Farai Vimisayi and veteran striker Gilbert Zulu.
This was only their fifth win in 19 matches, having lost eight times and drawn six. Statistics are not good at all for Hwange who finished the 2011 season on the fourth spot when head coach Tennant Chilumba was named Coach of the Year and the coal miners went on to represent the country in last year’s Caf Confederation Cup.
Apart from Jongwe, Vimisayi and Zulu, Hwange also have in camp Tafara Chese, Nkosana Siwela, Malvern Longwe, Evans Rusike and Isaac Masame with defenders David “Tollgate” Boriwondo and Gerald Ndlovu covering goalkeeper Timothy Sibanda.
FC Platinum, fighting to end the season in a respectable position under the mentorship of Lloyd “Samaita” Mutasa, are wary of Hwange, with the former Warriors assistant coach saying the coal miners are hard to beat at the Colliery.
Platinum will be seeking revenge this afternoon after Hwange beat them 0-1 at Mandava Stadium through a header by defender Boriwondo in May.
“We are looking forward to getting three points in Hwange and end the season in a respectable position, but Hwange are a difficult side to beat at home. I believe we have the arsenal to see us past them.
“The lads are raring to go and I think they were really motivated by the win against Monomotapa in the BancABC Cup,” Mutasa said. With Charles Sibanda having travelled to Harare for the Warriors camp ahead of the World Cup tie against Mozambique, Mutasa will still have Ali Sadiki, Donald Ngoma and Nelson Maziwisa to take to the Colliery.
Sibanda, one of the scorers against Monomotapa at Barbourfields on Saturday, is on suspension and has joined the Warriors camp for the Mozambique 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Other notable players in the FC Platinum camp are Daniel Vheremu, Thabani Kamusoko, Welcome Ndiweni, Joel “Josta” Ngodzo — who has played from the bench this season — and Aaron Katebe. Platinum are on position six on the table with 30 points, eight behind log leaders Harare City.