Leopards face tricky Mpopoma as second half starts
IMINYELA-BASED Zifa Bulawayo Metropolitan Province Division Two Soccer League leaders Zim Leopards begin life after the league’s top marksman Tinashe Makanda joined How Mine, when they face tricky Mpopoma Pirates in the first match of the second half of the season.
Makanda’s potency at goal saw him hitting 15 goals from 15 matches for Zim Leopards. He made a topflight debut on Thursday when the gold miners held Dynamos to a 0-0 draw in Harare.
Zim Leopards reached the half mark without a loss and have set their sights on playing in the Southern Region Division One Soccer League next season.
The top two teams at the end of the season will gain automatic promotion into the Southern Region Soccer League.
Zim Leopards are on 31 points, two ahead of second placed Chiwororo and their manager Leonard Sibanda believes the club which was formed in 2007 is ready to go a step further and compete in the first division.
“We believe we’ve done well in the past seven years producing a number of players that are in the Premiership right now and this is the time for us to go for the championship.
“We’ve had a good start this season and going for 15 games without losing a match speak volumes about the calibre of our squad. We know the second half will be tough but we’re ready for the challenge. Our top striker Makanda is now at How Mine and we wish him well with the hope that his move will inspire other guys to work harder,” said Sibanda.
Makanda joins some of Zim Leopards’ products playing in the PSL who include Harare City’s captain Francesco Zekumbawire, Highlanders’ rightback Benson Phiri and Tsholotsho FC’s duo of Xolani Lolo Ndlovu and Godfrey Saungweme.
Some of their players turning out for first division sides are Fortune Nkala who joined Bosso 90 during the midseason transfer window and defenders Benboy Chinyanga and Nyasha Chiweshe who are on loan at ZRP Bulawayo.
Zim Leopards’ 15-match unbeaten run has seen them register eight wins and seven draws, a record that Sibanda believes they are capable of improving in the second half.
However, the Iminyela club which uses the famous Ndola Stadium, should expect stiff championship competition from clubs like Chiwororo of Mpopoma a project bankrolled by former Zimbabwe Saints official Lloyd Munhanga as well as Ajax Hotspurs also from Mpopoma.
LG Vultures are also within the championship matrix.