BY TERRY MADYAUTA
CHAPUNGU gaffer Rodwell Dhlakama has warned FC Platinum to expect a tough match, promising the league champions pain when the two sides meet in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Midlands derby at Mandava stadium tomorrow.
FC Platinum has dominated meetings between these two sides, having won all the league encounters in the last two seasons.
However, Dhlakama, who has worked with FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza during their days at Monomotapa, has vowed to break the Zvishavane side’s dominance.
“We lost to them last season, and I admit that they are good in many aspects, if not all. But look, some things have to end,” Dhlakama said.
“We are ready for this encounter, and I believe we are going to get maximum points and break this dominance once and for all. It’s derby, because they are our
midlands compatriots. So, bragging rights and points are stake, of which I believe we are going to do our best and walk away with both.”
Chapungu are currently on a seven match winless streak, having lost three times and drawn four.
They sit on seventh position on the log table with 20 points. A win against FC Platinum will give them some leverage in their bid to achieve a top four finish.
Mapeza, on the other hand, says he has a lot of respect for Dhlakama and wants his men to be at their best in this assignment.
“It is going to be an interesting and entertaining game. Chapungu are like our brothers and we are ready. Our preparations have been going on well, “Mapeza sa.
“We just have to play football and stick to our normal game because if we are going to think too much about their physicality we will lose the plot. Playing a
team that has gone for so many games without a win is very dangerous because they will fight for everything.”
Mapeza, however, is worried about his team’s conversion rate.
“Last week we had some good opportunities but we failed to bury them. We need to go out there and get two or three early goals. It’s not good to get three
opportunities and score one. We must bury them all. Defensively, we are good just like our previous seasons, but scoring matters most. We need to make use of
the chances we create.”
The miners have been boosted by the return of Rapheal Muduviwa and Lawrence Mhlanga from an injury lay-off and suspension respectively.