Gumbo faces Hwange test

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THE premiership’s newly appointed coaches, Rahman Gumbo and Maxwell Jongwe, this weekend face their second assignments as their teams go into battle against Hwange and Motor Action respectively. Gumbo returned with a bang to top-fl ight football with a 2-0 win against his former team Highlanders at Mandava Stadium. The former Botswanabased Mochudi Centre Chief’s coach took over from caretaker coach Patrick Mandizha following the sacking of Philani Mabhena a month ago. FC Platinum played their fi rst match in the Premiership at the renovated Mandava Stadium last Wednesday. This weekend, the Zvishavanebased side travel to meet fellow miners Hwange at the Colliery Stadium. FC Platinum maintained their second position on the log with the win and are well placed to grab pole position. Platinum are two points behind defending champions Motor Action, who are on 25 points. But the coalminers, who have already shocked Chicken Inn and log leaders Motor Action, might turn out to be spoilers again. In the midweek fi xture, Hwange held Bulls to a goalless draw away at Callies Stadium. If the log standings are anything to go by, then FC Platinum are likely to have an upper hand but in the game of football anything can happen. Platinum, with an arsenal that includes the reigning Soccer Star of the Year, Charles Sibanda, and in-form Daniel Ngoma among others, the Hwange defence are likely to have a torrid afternoon. Tongai Mangwendere will be the man to watch for the hosts. Zambian coach Tenant Chilumba, who was under fi re from some sections of the fans, has managed to prove his critics wrong following the team’s performance of late. Chilumba’s Hwange appear safe on 17 points from 12 games. Meanwhile, Jongwe’s Kiglon play host to the Mighty Bulls, another stern test for the new gaffer. Kiglon have just lost 3-1 to Chicken Inn. Jongwe, who is also the assistant coach to the Mighty Warriors, took over from Rodwell Dhlakama. Kiglon are struggling on 13 points from 12 games. Jongwe’s charges face the two other league title contenders, FC Platinum and Highlanders, in week 14 and 15 respectively. Mkuphali Masuku’s Highlanders face arch-rivals Zimbabwe Saints under the tutelage of former Bosso utility player Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo in a Bulawayo derby at, Bourborfi elds Stadium. “Chikwata”, which soccer critics say is a rebranded Dynamos, will play Bosso who seek to regain lost pride. Highlanders have lost their last two games at the hands of the rampaging Bulls in their own backyard and away to FC Platinum with identical score-line of 2-0. The fi fth positioned Highlanders go into this week’s fi xture to garner maximum points to keep alive their league title aspirations . The weekend will also see the bottom-placed teams battling it out. At Maglas Stadium, Shabanie Mine host troubled Shooting Stars while Gunners host Black Mambas at Morris Depot. The four teams are in murky waters in the 16-team league. Troubled Masvingo United host Chicken Inn at Mucheke Stadium this weekend. Luke Masomere’s side return to home turf after a 4-1 drubbing on Wednesday at the hands of Moses Chunga’s men who have rediscovered their winning formula. A fi red-up Simba Sithole scored a hat-trick to secure CAPS United’s victory while Isaac Chapura got the only goal for Yuna Yuna at the National Sports Stadium. Chicken Inn, who outclassed Kiglon Bird, seek to extend their lead in Masvingo. Chicken Inn are on 21 points, four adrift of the log leaders. The two teams are among the top six on the log standings. High-fl ying CAPS United play Monomotapa who shared the spoils with Misheck Chidzambwa’s Blue Ribbon in a 1-1 draw in mid-week. The former champions will meet an impressive CAPS United that has banged in nine goals in two matches. The Green Machine has scored the most goals so far this season, 27 in all. With the CAPS United gaffer Chunga silencing critics baying for his blood, a win over the former champions will consolidate Makepekepe’s hopes of clinching the title again. Bambo is likely to use the winning team against Yuna Yuna to maintain the winning form. CAPS now sit on fourth position. Dynamos go into battle with the new boys, Blue Ribbon in yet another test for coach Lloyd Mutasa. The Glamour Boys have been under pressure from their legion of fans who seek nothing short of the league title this year. Samaita and Bambo have been under fi re of late but the tide seems to have turned in their favour of late. Rahman Gumbo 10 – 16 June 2011 LEAGUE PREVIEW with Alvin Madzivanzira LLOYD MUTASA faces a stern test when Dynamos face a rejuvenated Gunners at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday afternoon after a string of unimpressive results. The Harare derby promises to be a thriller after the successful expedition by Gunners in Zvishavane where they humiliated moneybags FC Platinum 0-3. Another defeat for Dynamos could spell doom for coach Mutasa. The deeply religious gaffer has led DeMbare to one of their worst starts in years. There is already talk that he faces the exit if Dynamos do not win their next three games. Darlington Dodo’s Gunners dented FC Platinum’s chances of usurping the lead on the 16- team log. Harare-based Gunners proved that the 1-all draw to Monomotapa was no fluke. The 2009 league winners are currently trailing in the lower echelons of the league. Gunners used their game-in-hand advantage to move a place up the log. And it looks like they won’t have any mercy for the beleaguered Mutasa. A first minute strike by Ishmael Lawe opened the score sheet and a two goals from Cliff Sekete in the 13th and 43rd minutes saw the visitors stealing victory at Maglas Stadium. Wednesday’s loss was the first for Platinum coach Philani Mabhena since he took over the hot seat following the tragic death of Benjamin Moyo. Bottom-placed “Chando Kupisa” silenced the mining town of Zvishavane as they sealed their victory in the first half. FC Platinum have conceded five goals in two matches, giving Mabhena some homework on his defence. Meanwhile, Premiership defending champions Motor Action face a fired-up Zimbabwe Saints, who are still basking in last week’s resounding success in week nine of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League. The Mighty Bulls were last week stopped by Chicken Inn in a goalless draw and seek to amass maximum points against “Chauya Chikwata” to maintain their pole position. Willard Mashinkila Khumalo’s Zimbabwe Saints spoiled Dynamos’ party and are not a team to underrate. The Bulls have had a good start this season, losing one game on their way to amassing 17 points. However, middle-placed “Chikwata” are separated by mere goal difference from Dynamos on 11 points. Meanwhile, it will be a battle of the new boys in the league at Maglas Stadium as the platinum miners take on Chicken Inn. After a goalless draw with the title holders, Chicken Inn are looking for maximum points to move to top position. Chicken Inn are a point ahead of the platinum miners. A win for either team will catapult them to second position on condition that the Bulls win against Zimbabwe Saints. A loss for the league title holders will see them dropping to second position. In another intriguing encounter, Highlanders host the Green Machine, CAPS United, who have been struggling to find a winning formula at Barbourfields Stadium. Highlanders’ loss in the Bulawayo derby sent shock waves to other teams in the elite league as the three new teams continue on a rampage. “Matengwane” were last week upset by Blue Ribbon 2-1. CAPS United’s 2-2 draw against FC Platinum was a morale booster for the team, but pressure is still on Moses “Bambo” Chunga to deliver. Highlanders are no pushovers for CAPS United and “Bambo” needs to do his homework ahead of the visit to the City of Kings. Goals from Washington Pakamisa and David Rediyoni, however, restored confidence among the Green Machine supporters. The shots on target in the last match expose the poor defence in the CAPS camp which Highlanders could capitalise on. However, Chunga might opt for the squad that worked miracles last week. Madinda Ndlovu’s Black Mambas visit Kiglon Bird and seek to continue on their winning spell after edging the visiting Hwange 1-0 last weekend. Mambas are on 13th position, with seven points, the same as Hwange and Shabanie. Shooting Stars finally got it right last week shooting down Kiglon 3-1. Masvingo United lock horns with Shooting Stars who seem to have a problem with their defence, which has conceded 14 goals in eight matches. “Yuna Yuna” go into this weekend’s match to avenge last week’s loss to Shabanie at Maglas Stadium. More is expected from the Shooting Stars who seem to have found the winning formula and seek to extend it. Blue Ribbon, “Tamba Wakaguta”, have become good travellers of late and have a date with the coal miners at the Colliery. The better placed Blue Ribbon will soon find the elite league comfortable if they continue with their form. Monomotapa will host Shabanie Mine. Monos are a point ahead of Shabanie and in a match that looked like a draw, Arnold Jani’s team stole the game in the 90th minute from “Yuna Yuna”. However, the premiership debutants are finding their way through the maze better than the seasoned teams. With the premiership teams already a quarter

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