CHAPUNGU STILL BELIEVE
DESPITE lurking dangerously in the relegation zone, airmen Chapungu still believe they can perform the Houdini act and finish the Castle Lager premiership season in a safe position.
Chapungu are fourth from bottom with 32 points and shared the spoils with Hwange over the weekend drawing nil all at the Colliery.
The result meant the airmen are in danger of relegation if Zifa councillors stick to their guns that four Premiership teams must be relegated to pave way for the regional champions in the central, southern, eastern and northern regions.
“Waru Waru” will be hoping that the gods will smile on them on the final day of the season when they face title chasing Caps United at Ascot Stadium needing not h i n g short of victory to entertain a n y chances of staying in the topflight league.
If they manage to win they will be hoping that Harare City do them a favour by beating Triangle who have 35 points and need just a point to guarantee their place in the league should the Zifa councillors’ position carry the day. A win for Chapungu and a loss for Triangle would mean the Gweru based outfit stays in the Premiership as both teams would finish the season tied on 35 points. Chapungu would survive because of a superior goal difference. It is this factor that has instilled a sense of belief in the Chapungu camp. “It is not over yet but we know that the game against Caps United will not be easy for us but we have to fight tooth and nail to get a result that we want. Caps United have been on a roll and it is difficult to stop them but we will have to be at our best and I still believe that we can do it,” said Chapungu coach John Nyikadzino. While all the odds are heavily stacked against the airmen, history is the only thing that Chapungu has in its favour.
The Green Machine have never won at Ascot Stadium since the 2013 season.
In fact Caps United have lost all their games to Chapungu at Ascot Stadium since then and while Chapungu would be trying to escape relegation, the airmen could decide the title race should FC Platinum overcome Tsholotsho.
FC Platinum put up a top drawer second half performance against Bulawayo giants Highlanders and comfortably beat them 3-0 at Mandava Stadium in a match that was marred by some pitch invasion from the home side’s supporters after heavens opened up.
Highlanders will now finish on third position after their title dreams dramatically went up in smoke even though they could have won the match had they utilised their first half chances.
Another factor that probably contributed to their annihilation was the failure by the technical bench to counter Norman Mapeza’s tactical substitution of Tarisai Rukanda who made way for Charles Sibanda.
Sibanda was clearly the game changer as he gave Tendai Ngulube a torrid time from the moment he came on. The 2010 Soccer Star of the Year winner capped a brilliant afternoon with an equally brilliant goal at the dearth. It’s a goal that could win a team any final.
Highlanders’ players could be forgiven for their low spirits after the end of the match with players like Rahman Kutsanzira, Peter Muduhwa, Simon Munawa and even young Prince Dube who had a miserable afternoon, shaking their heads right up to the team bus. It had dawned on them that their slim hopes of a league title were over. Its now a two team race between firm favourites Caps United and FC Platinum who take on Tsholotsho at Luveve Stadium on Sunday.
Tsholotsho are now almost confirmed relegated unless the move to chop four teams fails, which is unlikely. There are also fears that the club might not be able to remain in existence once they get relegated, amid rumours that Zimbabwe Saints are lying in wait to grab the franchise. — @lavuzigara1