CAPS, How Mine clash on

HARARE - The Castle Lager Premiership match between reigning champions CAPS United and How Mine will go ahead as scheduled this evening at the National Sports Stadium after the national team released their players.

The match kicks off at 7pm.

The game was hanging in balance until last night as the Green Machine had three players — Ronald Chitiyo, Abbas Amidu and Devon Chafa — in the national team preparing for Sunday’s 2018 Kenya African Nations Championship (Chan) return leg qualifier against Namibia on Sunday while How Mine have defensive pair of Praise Tonha and Milton Ncube.

Makepekepe had indicated that they would not fulfil the fixture without three of their key players in line with Fifa rules which state that if a club has three or more players in the national team, they have the right to cancel the game if they so wish.

Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare last night confirmed to the Daily News that they have released players from both teams to allow them to play in today’s league match but will report back into Warriors’ camp after the game.

“Yes, I can confirm that we have released three players from CAPS United and two from How Mine but they will obviously report back soon after their match,” Mpandare said.

“In as much as we wanted them to stay we had to consider other factors as well regarding CAPS’ backlog in the league. We are just praying that the players will stay injury free so that it will not jeopardise our preparations.” 

However, it is still not yet clear if their scheduled United’s game against Bulawayo City at Babourfields Stadium on at the weekend will still go ahead as planned since the Warriors will be in action against Namibia on Sunday at the National Sports Stadium.

The reigning local champions are faced with a hectic fixture schedule as they have to play catch up matches in the league due to their commitments in the Caf Africa Champions League.

While most teams have already reached the halfway stage with 17 matches, the Green Machine have only played nine matches and had hoped to use this current league break to reduce the backlog.

Of the nine league matches, Lloyd Chitembwe’s charges have picked three wins, four draws and two defeats to sit third from bottom on the log table with 13 points.

CAPS’ last league game ended in 0-2 defeat in the hands of Yadah and they will be desperate this evening to return back to winning ways.

Last night, Chitembwe told the Daily News that their focus is now sorely on defending their title and are looking forward to a positive result when they face How Mine this evening.

“Yeah, we are okay. We are looking forward to the game. We are done with the champions league and our focus is to work on defending our title,” Chitembwe said.

“It’s not going to be easy but we are working hard. We have been preparing for our match against How Mine and we are just expecting to get a positive result.

“It’s a very important period for us now in the sense that we are playing catch up. We have already tasted good things and the boys want to continue and this is for sure. I believe the league has to be given so much priority and focus. So this is the time to focus on it.

“I am sure trying to balance between the champions league and domestic league was becoming a bit difficult for us but I want to believe that our elimination will give us time to also focus on the league.”

How Mine have been blowing hot and cold in the league and will be looking forward to build on their previous 2-1 win over Harare City.

How Mine are on seventh place on the log table with 28 points after 16 rounds of matches having won eight, drawn four and lost four.

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