THE country’s Caf Confederation Cup representatives How Mine say they will have no mercy on Nigeria’s Bayelsa United FC when the two sides meet in the second round, first leg of the continental showcase at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
The West Africans were expected in Bulawayo yesterday evening from Harare.
How Mine assistant coach Simba Rusike yesterday said it was not going to be easy against Bayelsa, but they are going to use home advantage, score more goals and finish them off in Nigeria in the second leg next weekend.
“We don’t know them. We respect them as Nigerians, but we are also Zimbabweans and we are going out to represent our country in all earnest. We are going to be at our best,” Rusike said.
“Our aim from the start of the tournament has been to score as much goals as we could. On Saturday (tomorrow), we want to hammer them and finish them off in their backyard.”
Rusike said Warren Dube was still not training while central defenders skipper Gilbert Banda and Nyasha Mukumbi had suffered light knocks, but they were hopeful the two would be fit by today in readiness for tomorrow.
Rusike said it was very possible for the gold miners to cruise through to the group stages of the Confederation Cup, but it is not going to be easy.
“Getting to the group stages will be a dream come true, but it won’t be easy. We are expecting a tough match and we have worked on all our mistakes from our previous games,” he said.
How Mine have sailed past Chuoni FC of Zanzibar and St Michel United FC of the Seychelles in the first two stages and their main man has been Kuda Musharu, who has banged in six goals in four matches.
They beat Chuoni 6-1 on goal aggregate and St Michel United 6-4, although they lost 3-1 in the return leg against the Islanders.
Musharu has combined well up front with Thembani Masuku and Edmore Muzanenhamo with veteran Menard Mupera as defensive link man.
Another player to watch is the youthful Emmanuel Mandiranga grabbed from Aces Academy.
Veteran defender Hebert Dick, who missed the first round, trained with the team yesterday at the match venue.
How Mine head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube’s forte has been reading the game in the first half and coming out strong against his opponents in the second half of the match.
Bayelsa, who beat FC Kondzo of Congo Brazzaville 2-0 on goal aggregate in the first round are expected to have their feel of the match venue today before the clash tomorrow.
The Nigerians’ fears are injuries to their goalkeepers Gideon Gombe and Kazeem Yekeen who got injured in the same match in a league tie against Gombe United back home.
But the club’s media officer George Emeli told Nigerian media that the two had suffered minor injuries and they would be fit by tomorrow.
“It was a minor injury, the team doctor said between now and Friday (today) they will be fine and will be able to play (How Mine of) Zimbabwe in the Confederation Cup. The team is ready and the injured goalkeepers will be ready as well. We cannot rule them out yet as the doctor said between now and then, they should be okay,” Emeli said.