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Confusion over Manhanga

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THERE is uncertainty over the availability of on-loan Highlanders attacking midfielder Pasca Manhanga as the Bulawayo giants clash with Triangle in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Hartsfield Grounds today.

Sukoluhle Mthethwa
Sports Reporter

Manhanga joined Highlanders during the mid-season transfer window period on a six-month loan from Triangle.

While Highlanders revealed that they would be fielding the player, Triangle coach Biggie Zuze expressed doubt on the availability of Manhanga.

“Manhanga is still our player and we loaned him to Highlanders. He has been doing very well there, but I don’t see him playing against his team,” he said.

However, Highlanders chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede dismissed reports that Manhanga would not feature in the game because of a clause in his contract which bars him from playing against his team.

“We don’t have any documents which say Manhanga is barred from playing against his team. The only thing is that we are yet to settle what we owe Triangle,” Gumede said.

“We spoke to their treasurer, Banda, when they were coming from the Hwange match and we told them we were in a financial handicap, but we would soon fulfil our commitment. He is on a six-month loan although we would have wanted him for a longer period. We have done what his club wanted.”

Manhanga scored the solitary goal that guided Highlanders to the quarter-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup against Shabanie Mine in Gweru on Sunday.

Turning to today’s match, Zuze said they were bracing for a tough assignment against Highlanders who have not been doing well in the league of late.

“The match is going to be very tough. We respect Highlanders because they are doing very well. We are happy that we are getting good results on the road. We beat Bantu Rovers in a league match away and we also beat Hwange in the Chibuku Cup at the Colliery,” he said.

“Bosso are at home and we know that they have prepared well for the match. They lost their last league match and so we know what to expect tomorrow (today). Highlanders are under pressure because they are playing at home. However, anything can happen in football.”

Bosso lost 0-1 to Dynamos in their last league match, but the Bulawayo giants would want to continue from where they left off against Shabanie Mine on Sunday.

Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu said they were ready for their first tie at Hartsfield.

“It is going to be our first game at Hartsfield. We have practised there once, but the fact that we are in Bulawayo gives us an advantage. We have been getting good results away from home,” he said.

Bosso will be without left-back Bruce Kangwa who is out on suspension after accumulating three yellow cards.

“It is unfortunate that Bruce is out on suspension. He was outstanding against Shabanie Mine, but there is nothing we can do. We hope that the player who will be given an opportunity to play will do well. It is not really a crisis because we depend on every player,” he said.

Kaindu said it was good that anyone in the team could score and urged supporters to come in their numbers to rally behind the team like they did in their last league match.

Today’s Fixtures: Highlanders v Triangle (Hartsfield), Dynamos v Hwange (Rufaro)

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