CAPS United received a boost in their final push for the Castle Lager Premiership soccer title yesterday with the return of midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike to training ahead of the trip to Chapungu this Saturday for the decisive match.The midfielder is likely to play a part in the final game of the season after he managed to train with his teammates yesterday. Makepekepe are involved in a fierce battle for this year’s title with FC Platinum who travel to Bulawayo to face Tsholotsho at Luveve.
Team manager Shakespeare Chinogwenya yesterday said Rusike was being monitored by the club’s medical personnel as he continues recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in the 1-0 win over Ngezi Platinum Stars in the Green Machine’s last game at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Rusike was involved in a nasty challenge with Ngezi Platinum Stars defender Talent Chamboko just before half-time and could not return to the pitch after the breather.
However, Chinogwenya yesterday said Makepekepe are expecting a clean bill of health if nothing dramatic happens before their departure tomorrow.
“The good thing is he (Rusike) trained with the team today (yesterday) and if he can train again tomorrow that will be a positive sign on his part.
“He is recovering well. The injury was not as bad as it looked on Sunday. So we are expecting to have all our players available if nothing happens between now and Saturday,” said Chinogwenya.
Makepekepe are also set to welcome their skipper Moses Muchenje who missed the last assignment because of suspension.
The team intensified their preparations for the critical last game of the season with almost all players turning up at Barclays Sports Club this week.
Chinogwenya said morale was high in the camp. This has been an important week for the Green Machine who are seeking to end an 11-year drought in the championship campaign.
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe believes Makepekepe are well positioned and will not want to take chances in the last match. Excitement could be their biggest enemy, but Chitembwe believes his charges have so far handled the pressure.
Makepekepe took their points tally to 60 after edging Ngezi Platinum Stars while FC Platinum moved to 58 points with the big 3-0 win over Highlanders.
This meant the league race will have to be decided on the final day of the season as both teams have genuine chances of lifting the silverware depending on the results on Saturday.
“The attitude was very good and also the character. The boys showed a lot of character. At this stage of the season, with what’s at stake, I am sure they did manage the pressure very well,” said Chitembwe
“Remember, we are chasing records. We want to try and emulate the other teams that have done well for CAPS United and I think we are on course.
“We are left with one more game and I am sure we will try and prepare to get a result that we want. All these games are important. We just want to try and work hard and get a very good result if possible a win. We will be very happy.”
In a title race that has been riveting in the last three months, CAPS United now need an outright victory to be guaranteed the championship.
A draw will not be good enough for them if FC Platinum win at Luveve. The platinum miners are still in the race, but their prospects largely depend on whether CAPS United fail to win.
Bulawayo City v How Mine (Barbourfields),
Harare City v Triangle United (Rufaro).
Dynamos v Chicken Inn (Rufaro),
Highlanders v Hwange (Barbourfields),
Chapungu v CAPS United (Ascot),
Tsholotsho v FC Platinum (Luveve),
Ngezi Platinum Stars v Mutare City Rovers (Baobab
Border Strikers v ZPC Kariba (Dulivhadzimo). – HERALD