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Tsholotsho Pirates Ready to Bring Down Highlanders

  • Michael Kariati

New Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu has an uphill task on Sunday. (Photo: Bongani Mafu's Facebook)

New Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu has an uphill task on Sunday. (Photo: Bongani Mafu's Facebook)

The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League race enters the second round this weekend with all eyes on Tsholotsho Pirates that are haunting neighbours, Highlanders.

The newly promoted side produced the shock of the season after a 1-0 win over big-spending Harare City in what has become the talk of the Zimbabwe football fraternity.

Pirates, who are based in the remote area of Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North province, have another tough assignment this Sunday as they entertain former champions Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium.

Pirates use Barbourfields Stadium as their home ground while their own stadium is being renovated to meet premiership standards.

As the Highlanders draws closer, coach Lizwe Sweswe is refusing to get carried away by the win over Harare City.

Tsholotsho are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Monomotapa, Gunners, and Motor Action who are the only three modest teams to have won the championships.

PROMOTED TEAMS

The past two seasons have also seen newly promoted sides put up a strong challenge for the title only to falter when it mattered most.

In 2013, Harare City led the table all the way and lost out on the last day of play and finished in third place, just two points behind winners Dynamos.

The same happened last season when ZPC Kariba lost out the championship on the last day of the season after finishing a point behind Dynamos.

But Sweswe says they have big teams lined up in their first five fixtures of the season and only when they go past them will they think about the future.

At the moment they are looking at bringing drown local soccer giants, Highlanders

Triangle are top of the table on goal difference and appear to have an easy game against Buffaloes, who are playing at Vhengere Stadium in Rusape, as Sakubva has not yet been approved for top flight soccer.

Second-placed Dynamos are away to Chapungu having massacred Buffaloes 3-0. But still coach David Mandigora is still not satisfied.

TITLE CONTENDORS

Caps United host former coach Norman Mapeza’s side while Harare City have a chance to make things right against Chicken Inn in their second successive home game of the season.

But Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas believes they are strong contenders for the title.

Following their 5-2 spanking at the hands of Triangle, Hwange have the chance to make things good when they play host to ZPC Kariba at the Colliery.

The game comes on the same day How Mine travel to Vhengere Stadium to face newly promoted Dongo Sawmills.

Both teams have one point after draws in their opening games but How Mine coach Luke Masomere says this is a new game altogether.

The game between newly promoted sides Flame Lilly and Hwahwa Prisons will round off the weekend programme at Gwanzura Stadium.

Ironically, the two teams are owned by the Zimbabwe Prisons Services.

BOXING

Zimbabwe’s Zambia based Charles Manyuchi enters the ring at the Government Complex in Lusaka, tomorrow for the defence of his World Boxing Council International welterweight title.

The Zimbabwean Africa Boxing Union welterweight title holder takes on Russia’ world number 10 David Avanesyan for what could be a turning point to the Zimbabwean’s career.

A win over the Russian could see Manyuchi’s world ranking improve dramatically from his current 23rd position and a possible chance of fighting another highly ranked fighter.

The 26 year-old Masvingo born boxer has been in Zambia training for this fight for over a month now.

This is Manyuchi’s second WBC International title defence after he systematically brought down Devis Caseres of Colombia in the third round in March.

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