HARARE – Highlanders and CAPS United will battle it out for the ZNA Commander Charities Soccer Shield trophy when the clash at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
Both teams will be eager to land the season’s first piece of silverware ahead of the start of the league campaign next month.
Highlanders reached the final after dispatching FC Platinum 3-0 in the semi-final but the hero from that match Prince Dube is not available for today’s final.
The Bosso forward, who scored two goals against FC Platinum, together with Peter Mudhuva and Ariel Sibanda have all been called up for the Warriors friendly international against Zambia in Harare tomorrow.
The trio will have to miss the final which presents more problems for coach Erol Akbay, who will also be without new signings Manuel Esono Obiang Buale from Equatorial Guinea and Tambwe Kalunga of DR Congo.
Buale and Kalunga are still waiting for their work permits after signing for Bosso earlier this month.
“It’s obvious that if you miss three of your senior players it will affect your game plan,” Akbay told our sister paper the Weekend Post.
“The three guys have gone to the national side and all the new foreign guys are ineligible to play because they are waiting for their paperwork. On top of that we have some few injuries which makes it a bit difficult for us ahead of this final.
“We wanted to have our strongest side but it’s something beyond our control. Again the same is also affecting CAPS United so we will have to do with what is there.”
Makepekepe coach Lloyd Chitembwe will also have to tinker with his squad for today’s final after goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, defender Dennis Dauda together with midfielders Ronald Chitiyo and Devon Chafa were also called up for the friendly international against Chipolopolo.
CAPS go into the match high on confidence after dumping DR Congo giants TP Mazembe out of the African Champions League last week.
Winners of the tournament are guaranteed $12 000 while the losing finalists will pocket $8 000.
Organisers of the tournament have pegged the gate charges at $5 for VIP and $3 for the rest of the ground.