Joey Antipas in good start at Amazulu
Shabanie Mine back on top
SHABANIE Mine powered their way back to the top of the Central Soccer League (CSL) after dismissing Whawha 2–0 at Maglas Stadium in Zvishavane on Sunday.
The asbestos miners took advantage of previous log leaders Blanket Mine’s 1-1 stalemate against FC Platinum Under-19 to go to the top.
Former Warriors defender Zvenyika Makonese was on target for Shabanie Mine, taking his goal tally to three this season, and Lloyd Gwerina sealed victory for the home team.
The win took the Zvishavane side to 41 points, one above Blanket Mine.
Tendai Chikuni, the Shabanie Mine gaffer, said he would not read much into the developments, but focus on the remaining matches of the campaign.
“The league is still a long way to go and for us to be back on top shows that we have character, especially as we move towards the twilight stages of the campaign. However, we want to focus on our performance and ensure that we pick as much points as possible and not read much into what other clubs are doing,” said Chikuni.
In other matches, Tongogara dropped five points adrift of the new log leaders when they were held to a goalless draw by ZPC Munyati.
The army side has no win in its last three games and is slowly faltering in the race for the championship.
At the tail-end are Gweru United, who continued sinking deeper in the relegation waters after losing 0-2 to Jessie Mine.
Kwekwe Sables, who had been at the basement for the past 10 weeks, recorded their second victory of the season by beating Chrome Stars 1–0. FORMER Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas won the battle of Zimbabwean coaches in his maiden South African National First Division (NFD) game when his side AmaZulu overcame Black Leopards 2-1.
Leopards are coached by Jairos Tapera, a former Zimbabwe Under-20 coach.
Their sides clashed at the Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban on Sunday.
Antipas told the club’s website that despite the win, his team, which is eager for a return to the more lucrative Absa Premiership, still had a long way to go.
Usuthu, as AmaZulu are affectionately known, were relegated from the Premiership in the 2014/15 season.
“It’s always important to start well because if you win your opening game, the confidence creeps into the players, which is good. I’d say that we gave a good account of ourselves although it’s still early days. We have a lot of work to do,” said Antipas.
“I believe if we continue in the direction we are going, we could be a team that is difficult to beat. There’s a lot of hard work still to do in all areas. I’m happy with the result, but there’s still a lot of work to do because all the 16 teams are vying for the championship,” he said.
AmaZulu got the opener courtesy of veteran and former South African international striker Siyabonga Nomvethe and Lungelo Dlamini. Leopards pulled one back through Roggert Nyundu.