The Herald (Zimbabwe)

DeMbare salute Ngezi Platinum Stars

- Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter Innocent Kurira

DYNAMOS assistant coach Lloyd “Mablanyo” Chigowe admits the Glamour Boys shot themselves in the foot on many occasions in their quest to end a nine-year drought in the Castle Lager Premiershi­p.

The best the Glamour Boys can do this year is to finish second after the title was clinched by Mhondoro side Ngezi Platinum Stars over the weekend.

The platinum miners, who are basking in their maiden title success since their promotion in 2016, edged new boys Simba Bhora 2-1 on Saturday to take their points tally to unassailab­le 63, with two rounds of play remaining.

“It’s done and dusted. Congratula­tions to them,” said Chigowe.

Not once, but on many instances Dynamos, just like the rest of the chasing pack failed to take advantage of the occasional slip-ups by the champions along the way.

Ngezi Platinum stars have lost more games than either Dynamos or Highlander­s, at this juncture. But the huge difference was that the platinum miners always found a way back to their feet after almost every setback.

“When you get a head start and your opponents are playing catch up, it means your opponents are waiting for you to make a mistake and they capitalise.

“But football doesn’t always work like that. So, I think the seven-point gap that they created helped them over the line. Of course, yes the log table does not lie; it means they are the better side,” said Chigowe.

DeMbare could have reduced the gap at the top to five points if they collected maximum points in the outstandin­g match against Manica Diamonds. But they went to Gibbo and lost 0-1 to the Gem Boys, against a backdrop of huge expectatio­ns from their fans.

Ngezi Platinum Stars maintained the seven-point advantage at the top.

Yet again, the platinum miners dropped points in the 1-0 defeat to Hwange and as fate would have it, none of the teams in the top four also won a game, with DeMbare and FC Platinum cancelling each other out in a goalless draw at Mandava last week.

DeMbare are also likely to look back with huge regrets at some of the unpalatabl­e results they experience­d during the season, like the back-to-back defeats to Bulawayo Chiefs, the back-to-back goalless draws with new boys Simba Bhora and relegation candidates Triangle, which contribute­d to derailing their campaign. But Chigowe believes Ngezi Platinum Stars, unlike Dynamos, benefited more from continuity within the technical team and the team compositio­n.

“I would say yes (we misfired) and I would also say no,” said Chigowe.

“But if you look at (Ngezi Platinum Stars coach) Takesure Chiragwi, for starters; he has been with Ngezi Platinum Stars for three years.

“The whole of us as a (Dynamos) technical team, including myself I joined mid-way, this team was assembled at the start of the season.

“It means we still have to also get to grasp with the quality of some of our players. So over the course of the season you do make mistakes, like we did. Yes, we did choke but I hope going forward we can work on that and be consistent,” said Chigowe.

With the PSL title gone, DeMbare, who celebrate their 60th anniversar­y this year, are now set to channel all their energies to the upcoming Chibuku Super Cup final against Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab on December 3

TRIANGLE United FC coach John Nyikadzino is confident his team will survive relegation though, as things stand, there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

The lowveld outfit was beaten 2-0 by Bulawayo Chiefs on Sunday leaving them on position 16 on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer league table with two games left to play. Four teams in the 18-team table will get relegated at the end of the season.

Already, Cranborne Bullets have been demoted and three more teams are set to join them. Black Rhinos, Triangle and Sheasham occupy the other three relegation slots as of now. Mathematic­ally, eight teams are not safe from the chop with six points left to play for. Greenfuel, Simba Bhora, Bulawayo Chiefs, Yadah Stars and ZPC Kariba are all still within reach of the bottom three sides excluding Cranborne Bullets. Nyikadzino knows his team is in trouble but remains optimistic they will pull off a great escape.

“It’s still game on. We have to soldier on and try to get maximum points and see what happens. The objective is we are going to survive. We are playing CAPS United next. They are a good side but we are fighting for our lives. l think CAPS United is now safe so we have to fight more than CAPS United. We have to respond especially if we are playing at home. As we speak right now our fate is no longer in our hands as we have to rely on what other teams would have done. We are on life support but we need to respond,” said Nyikadzino. Nyikadzino has only been in charge of the team in the last two games following the departure of Thulani Sibanda as head coach. He won his first game in charge defeating Highlander­s by a 1-0 scoreline before the recent loss to Bulawayo Chiefs.

He says what matters for his team at this moment is just grinding results. “It’s a bit too late to be trying out combinatio­ns and*

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