Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
CAPS United forward Abbas Amidu has completed his move to Saudi Arabian club Al Wehda (Mecca) where he is likely to be joined by his compatriot Tendai Ndoro who is also moving to the Asian nation. Amidu had a last-minute change of heart and opted out of the deal with Egyptian side Smouha and is now expected to fly out this week after securing a visa to Saudi Arabia.
Struggling South African giants Orlando Pirates have also agreed to sell their top Zimbabwe international forward Ndoro to a Saudi Arabian club Al Faisaly.
Ndoro, who came off the bench in Pirates’ opening 2017-18 ABSA Premiership tie against Chippa United which they won 1-0, had been expected to play an integral role for the Buccaneers as they undertake a revival mission under returning coach — Serbian coach Milutin “Micho’’ Sredojevic.
Micho had earlier revealed he would make Ndoro a key part of his team as he looks to rebuild Pirates, who reached one of their lowest points last season and failed to finish in the top eight.
The Serbian who used a 4-2-3-1 formation against Chippa, however, started with goalscorer Thamsanqa Gabuza as the lone striker in that game.
It, however, seems that the substitute appearance that Ndoro made in the opening game last Saturday was the last time the former Chicken Inn man and Pirates striker will be wearing the Buccaneers jersey.
“The Club can confirm that it has reached an agreement for the sale of the Zimbabwean international to Al Faisaly Football Club,” Pirates said on their website.
“Ndoro is due to undergo a medical in Saudi Arabia before the deal is finalised.’’
His switch to Saudi Arabia also meant that Ndoro missed Pirates’ second league assignment against Talent Chawapiwa’s Baroka last night.
He is set to be joined by Amidu in Saudi Arabia.
Last week, Amidu was in South Africa sorting out his travel documents and is now set to begin his adventure with a club that was relegated from the Saudi Arabian top-flight league in May.
“The player chose to go to Saudi Arabia and it is about what the player wants. We are still talking and hoping to finalise the deal by end of this week,” said CAPS United chief executive Cuthbert Chitima.
Meanwhile, the champions are back in action this afternoon with a cagey assignment against Black Rhinos at the National Sports Stadium.
The champions are relieved that goalkeeper Edmore “Zikeeper” Sibanda has recovered from a toe injury which saw him being pulled out in the second half of the match against Ngezi Platinum.
However, defender Stephen Makatuka is still at home recovering from an illness.
“We are aware they haven’t been playing well of late and would like to correct their mistakes against us, so we have to work hard to get the three points but it is not going to be easy,” said CAPS United assistant coach Mark Mathe.
“Winning another there points means clawing up the ladder which is what we are trying to do at the moment but we just have to be focused mentally physically and tactically.’’ Today’s contest features two players who are among the league leading goal scorers.
CAPS United Dominic Chungwa and Rhinos’ Lot Chiwunga are joint third on the scoring charts with seven goals each.
Ngezi Platinum Terrence Dzvukamanja has eight goals while Bantu Rovers forward Bukhosi Sibanda is still leading with 10 goals. Rhinos coach Stanford “Stix” Mtizwa said they have to stop the free-fall which has seen them losing five consecutive games.
“We cannot go beyond five defeats, this slide should stop and we have to, at least, win a game and put a stop to that.
“We know it is a tough game against the reigning champions. We played well against Chicken Inn but didn’t score and we have been working on our finishing so that we come right with the chances that we are creating,” he said.
The army side welcome back defender Sydney Linyama, who was serving a one-match suspension, while the injured duo of Farai Banda and Wonder Kapinda remain on the sidelines with injuries.
Today: CAPS United v Black Rhinos (National Sports Stadium), Highlanders v Tsholotsho (Barbourfields).
Tomorrow: How Mine v Dynamos (Barbourfields).