Mahachi off to SA

Ricky Zililo Senior Sports Reporter
CASTLE Premiership log leaders Highlanders FC will be without dazzling midfielder Kudakwashe Mahachi when they take on Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare tomorrow. Less than 24 hours after helping the Bulawayo giants to collect maximum points against Harare City at Barbourfields Stadium with a lucky goal, Mahachi left the country yesterday to tour Namibia with his parent club Mamelodi Sundowns.

The stylish on-loan midfielder joined his Absa Premiership champions teammates for the trip to Windhoek where they are scheduled to play Namibian giants African Stars in the Dr Hage Geingob invitational match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.

At least a consolation for Highlanders followers is that Mahachi will return to Highlanders after next weekend’s national team commitment against Tanzania before flying out for trials at French club Monaco later next month.

Mahachi is on record as saying he wants to leave Bosso at the top of the log and true to his promise Highlanders are leading the pack.
Speaking after his first training session with Bosso in February, Mahachi said; “Mamelodi Sundowns have given me the permission to train and play at Highlanders until June. I am looking forward to a wonderful stay at Highlanders. Remember, I was groomed at Bosso and there is no better way of bidding farewell to Zimbabwean football than playing for my childhood team.

“I can see that Bosso has signed a number of talented players and if we work together as players and fight for each other, then we will be a team to beat. My wish is to leave Highlanders in a better commanding place for the championship and other competitions that we will play in before I go to Mamelodi Sundowns.”

His goal against Harare City on Thursday propelled Highlanders to the top of the table and the player told his teammates that his intention was to cross the ball.
Kudakwashe Mahachi
“He was happy that he scored a lucky goal and even told us after the game that his intention was to cross into the box but fortunately, the wind directed the ball into the back of the net. Everyone is happy about his contribution to the team and as it is, he has left the country to join Mamelodi Sundowns for a tour of Namibia but will be back on Monday or Tuesday,” said a senior player.

The Highlanders chairman, Peter Dube, confirmed that Mamelodi Sundowns asked for Mahachi.
“It is true he left today for South Africa where he will link up with his teammates before travelling to Namibia for a game on Sunday. We expect him back in the country on Monday,” said Dube.

Mahachi’s departure is likely to see Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu deploying either Charles Sibanda or Valentine Ndaba on the left side of midfield. Both players have played in that position before.

Modern football trends have seen right footed midfielders swapping sides with left footed players meaning that Knox Mutizwa and Joel Ngodzo, who have seen little action, might be thrown into the fray in Mutare.
Highlanders should be wary of the wounded Buffaloes who were thrashed 5-1 by Triangle United on Wednesday.

The Luke Masomere-coached club has lots of experienced players in the form of Frank Bushiri, Tafadzwa Mombeshora, Admire Dzumbunu, Jacob Muzokomba, Philip Thembani and Lloyd Katongomara capable of causing an upset.

Meanwhile, Chicken Inn will be hoping to recover from their 2-1 defeat to Bantu Rovers in a midweek encounter when they take on Chapungu at Luveve Stadium this afternoon.

How Mine, second on the table and tied on 16 points with log leaders Bosso, take their act to Harare seeking to hand ZPC Kariba their first defeat of the season this afternoon while FC Platinum, smarting from a controversial 0-1 loss to Dynamos, are at home to Triangle.

Week Nine Fixtures
Today: ZPC Kariba v How Mine (Gwanzura), Chicken Inn v Chapungu (Luveve), FC Platinum v Triangle (FC Mandava, 1PM SS)
Tomorrow: Buffaloes v Highlanders (Sakubva), Hwange v Shabanie Mine (Colliery), Caps United v Bantu Rovers (National Sports Stadium), Chiredzi v Dynamos (Chishamiso, 3PM SS)
Monday: Harare City v Black Rhinos (Rufaro)

Week Eight Results at a glance
Tuesday: Bantu Rovers 2-1 Chicken Inn
Wednesday: How Mine 2-0 Caps United, Triangle United 5-1 Buffaloes, Chapungu 1-1 Hwange, Dynamos 1-0 FC Platinum, Black Rhinos 0-0 ZPC Kariba
Thursday: Shabanie Mine 3-0 Chiredzi, Highlanders 1-0 Harare City
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