Can Platinum end jinx?

HARARE - FC Platinum are on a mission to end Monomotapa’s dominance over them when the two sides clash in the Mbada Diamonds Cup semifinal at Mutare’s Sakubva Stadium this afternoon.

Monomotapa completed a league double over the Zvishavane side this season.

In June, the 2008 Zimbabwe champions beat Platinum 2-0 in Harare before humiliating the same opponents 3-0 in their own backyard in August.

Despite playing second fiddle to Biggie Zuze’s men this term, Platinum coach Tendai Chikuni is confident his charges will end the Monoz stranglehold.

“Monomotapa beat us twice this season and for that reason we can’t deny that we are the underdogs,” said Chikuni.

“The guys know what is at stake and are very motivated to progress to the final. The players are very focussed on the task at hand, which demands both bravery and hard work.”

Chikuni, a long-time assistant to axed Platinum coach Rahman Gumbo, believes winning the Mbada Diamonds Cup will take the game in the football-crazy mining town of Zvishavane to another level.

“We would like to just focus for now on the difficult semifinal against a very good Monomotapa side, but of course winning the cup will lead us into Africa.

“Representing Zimbabwe in the Caf Confederation Cup will bring more honour to Zvishavane.”

Platinum could take to the field this afternoon without three key players who are nursing injuries.

“Benjamin Marere, Allen Gahadzikwa and Daniel Veremu are all injured.

“Allen and Benjie are totally out but Veremu has a 50 percent chance of playing against Monomotapa.

Platinum have to really dig deep to get a result against a Monomotapa side that has played arguably the most exciting football in Zimbabwe this season.

Monomotapa, whose only cup win since their formation is the league title they won in 2008, are expected to push Platinum to the limit.

Biggie Zuze’s men could be weakened however, by the absence of captain and chief striker Tawanda Nyamandwe, whose effective hold-up play was the fulcrum on which Monomotapa built their attacks.

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