Two-horse race for PSL ti­tle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

THE Cas­tle Lager Premier Soccer League race could be headed for a two-team af­fair, with FC Plat­inum and Caps United bet­ter po­si­tioned to win the ta­ble. With con­sis­tency be­com­ing the lat­est catch phrase for most clubs’ coaches, the team that will man­age to get pos­i­tive re­sults week in week out stands a bet­ter chance of claim­ing the 2016 ti­tle. FC Plat­inum main­tained their two-point lead over Caps United when the two played to a 0-0 draw at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium on Satur­day. The top two teams had to thank Tri­an­gle United and Border Strik­ers who pro­duced gi­ant killers’ acts, beat­ing their re­spec­tive op­po­nents High­landers and Dy­namos by iden­ti­cal 2-1 score­lines. High­landers are third on the ta­ble with 31 points and their fail­ure to beat Tri­an­gle United as they suf­fered their third con­sec­u­tive league loss has left the them seven points be­hind lead­ers FC Plat­inum. Not only are Bulawayo gi­ants drift­ing away from the ti­tle race, High­landers’ abil­ity to be taken a as se­ri­ous cham­pi­onship con­tenders is now un­der scruti scru­tiny. High­landers seem to have cul­ti­vated a cu culture of flat­ter­ing only to de­ceive as they run out of steam in the sec­ond half of the sea­son. Bosso reached the half­way mark trail­ing FC Plat­inumP by two points, but that gap which gave their f fol­low­ers hope that this could be their sea­son has wid widened to seven points. Judg­ing by the way that they’re play­ingp it could turn out worse. The Bulawayo gi­ants last won the cham­pi­onshipcham­pio in 2006 and after break­ing Dy­namos’ 10-year jin jinx in the first half of the sea­son fol­low­ing their 2-0 w win over their peren­nial rivals, ex­pec­ta­tions were highh that High­landers will be unstoppable. But alas, High­landers are strug­glingstrug­glin to find re­place­ments for Bruce Kangwa a and Knox Mu­tizwa and ease their scor­ing woes.wo Mu­tizwa left to join Bid­vest Wits of South Africa while Kangwa co com­pleted a move to Tan­za­nia’s Azam. First to ex­pose High­land High­landers’ lack of depth were Mutare Ci­tyC who beat them 1-2 at Barb Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium in a mid­week­mid­wee be­fore Tri­an­gle did the same to Bosso at Gibbo three days la later. Bosso coach Erol Akb Ak­bay keeps on talk­ing about hish team fail­ing to “play good football” but the state­ment i is slowly los­ing lus­ter, as B Bosso are con­sis­tently per per­form­ing ter­ri­bly of late. Three days aft after they were em­bar­rass em­bar­rassed by Mutare City Rover Rovers, for­mer cham­pi­ons D Dy­namos suf­fered a sim­i­lar fa fate go­ing down 1-2 to Border Strik­ers. For Strik­ers, the vic­tory will go a long way in boost­ing their con­fi­dence as they con­tinue their survi survival fight. Strik­ers’ coach Never Malunga warned other teams say­ing; “We w will fight un­til the last whis­tle. W We are not giv­ing up yet.” Hand­ing Strik­ers the their third win of the sea­son puts pres­sure on Dy­namos who have gon gone for five matches with­out a vic­tory, man­ag­ingm four draws and a loss in the process.

In­con­sis­tency could be detri­men­tal in Dy­namos’ cam­paign just as it may be to High­landers and the two gi­ants need to come up with solutions to rec­tify their mis­takes.

Dy­namos will be at home to Bulawayo City at the week­end while Bosso will be fac­ing Chicken Inn who were held to a 0-0 by Cha­pungu.

The Game­cocks’ ex­ec­u­tive re­port­edly held a “mini­cri­sis” meet­ing after their draw against Cha­pungu, prob­a­bly wor­ried about er­ratic re­sults.

While teams like High­landers and Dy­namos are dip­ping in form, Ngezi Plat­inum Stars are on a rise and turn out to be the ti­tle dark horses after tak­ing their un­beaten run to eight games since coach Ton­derai Ndi­raya took over.

Dur­ing his eight games in charge of Ngezi Plat­inum, Ndi­raya has won five matches, draw­ing three.

At the week­end Ngezi Plat­inum picked a point away at ZPC Kariba where they played to a 0-0 draw.

They are now on po­si­tion six with 26 points, 12 be­hind lead­ers FC Plat­inum.

The gap might look big but if teams above them fail to be con­sis­tent per­form­ers and Ngezi Plat­inum main­tain their fine form, then they stand an out­side chance in the cham­pi­onship race.

How Mine were the big­gest movers of the week­end, climb­ing the lad­der from po­si­tion 13 to eight fol­low­ing their nar­row 1-0 win over Harare City.

The gold min­ers’ coach Kelvin Kaindu spoke about his team’s need to main­tain the run, say­ing: “What is im­por­tant is to build from this vic­tory.”

His Harare City coun­ter­part Moses Chunga was dis­ap­pointed with his team’s poor run.

“This was one of my worst games since I took over. We seem to be strug­gling with con­sis­tency and have to im­prove on our ur­gency go­ing for­ward,” said Chunga. — @ZililoR

Nor­man Mapeza

Dy­namos lifted the De­fence Forces Cup last year

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.