BY TERRY MADYAUTA FC PLATINUM gaffer Norman Mapeza is hoping that the rains that have pounding the country over the last few days will not dampen what he expects to be an exciting game when his team clashes with Highlanders at Mandava tomorrow.
The defending Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions lockhorns with the Bulawayo giants in a battle of wits for the coaches who both are advocates of the passing game.
Highlanders are coached by Mandla Mpofu, who was Mapeza’s assistant at the senior national team.
Both teams are riding high in terms of form, as Highlanders head into this one with their tails up after their triumph in the Independence Cup where they beat Dynamos 1-0.
Mapeza, however, is not reading much into their script but is preaching the gospel of consistency to his players having won their last two matches over strugglers, WhaWha and Bulawayo City.
“So far so good, everything has been fine despite the weather which always has it’s disadvantages. We are ready for the match against Highlanders which will obviously be a tough one, looking at their record, their massive victory in the Independence Cup,” said Mapeza.
“I hope it’s going to be a exciting game but my main worry now is about how the condition of the pitch will look like because it has been raining since Tuesday. But at the end of the day, I hope this will be a good game for both teams.”
The last meeting between the two sides was in the Chibuku Super Cup semi-final last year , with the Norman Mapeza coached side winning 1-0 courtesy of a goal scored by Panashe Matimbanyoka.
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However Mapeza is first to admit that alot has changed since their latest meeting, though he hopes the just ended Easter break rejuvinated his men.
“We needed that break and some of our guys who had injuries, they got a time to recover so I think it was a blessing in disguise for us despite going to the break sitting on a good form,” he said.
Mapeza added: ” This is a different ball game, there has been a lot of time since we last played them, which means we have to be at our best as a team. We only added two youngsters from the juniors and I hope the whole team will last until the season ends.”