PREMIER Soccer League (PSL) new boys Tsholotsho FC are plotting another big upset this afternoon when they clash with Highlanders at Barbourfields.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
The league debutants pulled a stunner last week when they humbled Harare City 1-0 at Rufaro in a match in which City were tipped to collect maximum points.
They now eye Bosso’s scalp and today’s meeting could be another shocker.
Spending the whole week basking in the City triumph, Tsholotsho coach Lizwe Sweswe has warned his charges against complacency.
“I think we made a bold statement against Harare City,” said Sweswe.
“We just showed people that football is the same everywhere. Even the players realised it. We are however trying to avoid being overconfident against Highlanders because it might cost us. We respect them as a big team in the league.”
Sweswe feels playing Highlanders early into the season will help his side adapt to the PSL challenge early.
“Meeting these big teams at this stage is a blessing for us. It helps us quickly warm up to the league demands. Winning such matches is a big advantage because it motivates players. We won against City and everyone is in high spirits,” Sweswe said.
Simbarashe Gorogodyo, whose goal saw off City, would be a concern to Highlanders together with captain Nkosilathi Moyo, and William Stima.
Kries Chitiyo and Kudzanayi Machazane are other players who can brighten Tsholotsho’s day.
The debutants welcome back Gerald Takwara who missed the City match while on national duty with the Young Warriors.
While the Tsholotsho dressing room boasts of a clean bill of health, Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu is sweating over the unavailability of injured key players.
Forwards Ozias Zibande and Simba Sithole are out together with midfielders Rahman Kutsanzira and Knox Mutizwa.
“We will just make do with what we have. I believe all other players can do the job,” said Mafu.
The coach is nonetheless wary of the threat posed by Tsholotsho.
“It is a possibility they can beat us so we are working hard to avoid an upset. We just need to be mentally strong and not take anything for granted,” said Mafu.
Bosso got off their campaign with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of ZPC Kariba last weekend and failing to pick up maximum points from Tsholotsho will certainly ring alarm bells.
“From the ZPC Kariba loss we learnt that football in the PSL is not a joke,” Mafu said.
“We have moved on without worrying about the last match. We are a wounded lion and we need to pick ourselves up by winning.”
Teenage forward Thomas Chideu could carry the day for Bosso and will be under close watch from Tsholotsho.
Meanwhile, there will be a potentially stormy battle at the National Sports Stadium where CAPS United host FC Platinum. Pressure is on the platinum miners who began their season with a 2-2 home draw against Dongo Sawmill last week.
The draw preceded a humiliating 5-1 CAF Confederations Cup drubbing by Young Africans of Tanzania in Dar es Salam, but coach Norman Mapeza is unmoved by the poor run.
“We are not affected in any way by these two games. That is part of football. You expect to win, to loseor to draw. Now we are just looking for a positive result from the CAPS United match,” said Mapeza.
United on the other hand started their campaign with a 2-1 win against WhaWha in Gweru.
Roderick Mutuma grabbed a brace in that match and would be under spotlight today if he can score against more formidable opponents.
Other fixtures today:
Hwange v ZPC Kariba (Colliery), Dongo Sawmills v How Mine (Vengere).