By Jafferson Ndhlovu
The goal difference is what separated Chicken Inn and Ngezi Platinum in this Saturday week 15 encounter. Ngezi holding the top position due to their goal difference superiority and did not arrive in the City of Kings to surrender more than two points, even more their top position.
As the case turned out it was a barren 90 minutes of of football and both team should be satisfied. In games Gamecocks Chicken Inn had shown great improvement, collecting vital points reminiscent of the 2015 winning season. Rahman Gumbo seems to have steadied his ship and getting his boys to do right things at the right time. And it is paying off.
He is a former league champion both as a player and a manager for Bulawayo based giantd Highlanders. Therefore he knows one or two things on how to control a team, on the opposite side Tonderayi Ndirayi should be happy with how he coaching curriculum vitae is shaping up. He is new guy in the senior manager in the dug out. Having started off at Dynamos as a caretaker manager in 2015. That’s the season Chicken Inn were crowned champions.
The nil draw in Bulawayo though comfortable for both of them for now might not be the best. Big boys have started pushing had in the second of the season and it be an interesting finish in this 2017 Zimbabwe Castle Premier Soccer League.
A 4th minute at Mandava Stadium by Gift Mbweti goal was all that FC Platinum needed against struggling Tsholotsho FC.
The Platinum are slowly getting to be recognised as draw masters, and that 1nil scored very early on is another testimony to that theory.
Seemingly Plasto is coming to matches to avoid defeats by defending that nil scoreline for 86 minutes of play amplifies thier defensive play mindedness
Harare City and Zimbabwe giants Dynamos continued with their impressive revival and surge towards the summit of the table. Five wins in a row plus an abandoned match in which they were leading four nil should make their fans believing again.
Its the performance that most of their enemies on football front would not want to see but its happening and Dembare is bullying everyone.
Visitors Bulawayo City put a scare in the comfort of Dembare fans when sharp and alert Clive Rupiya pounced on careless Dynamos goal minder who wanted to dribble past the striker in the 7th minute. And City were 1nil up.
A Peace Mahaka free kick found Clive Mwerahari lurking and nodded for for the equaliser in the 11th minute. And another free kick from Carlos Rusere found influential Denver Mukumba who made it 2-1 and that gave Dembare a comfort of play the rest of the first half.
Missing the presence of first team coach Llyod Mutasa who is away in South Africa as assistant coach to Sunday Chidzambwa for Cosafa tournament, the boys went into break not showing any signs of missing the head coach.
On resumption a poachy Rupiya pounced on the sleepy and break groggy Dembare defense to equslise with two minutes played.
Cameroonian Christian Epoupa who has been scoring some crucial and important goals for the Harare giants, was not to be left out of scorers list. He made 3-2 in the 52nd minute scoring with power.
Lincoln Zvasiya made more comfortable in 71st for his side when he scored after some hard work by Denver Mukamba.
Eight minutes to full time Bellisom Damson threw a scare into the system of Dembare. He scored to make 4-3 forcing Dembare to defend the one goal margin with their dear lives.
On 26 points onto 4th position, if the abandoned match against Chapungu goes their, they could be taking control of the 2017 tables. The giants are back.
Black Rhinos got derailed in their charge to claim top stop once more this season, and along the new Harare City FC coach Philani Ncube got a perfect birthday present.
The resultant 2-1 loss for Chauya Chimpembere was its first loss at home this season. But it will be the Sunshine Boys who will be the happiest. There was no better way to give a wonderful present to their coach who only celebrated his birthday on Saturday. I wouldn’t be far to assume Beefy as Ncube is affectionately called might have put on hold the his own festivities.
A rather cagey first as both sides took time to size each other but it was Rhinos who took the lead in the 31st minute when Clifford Chitsamba slotted home. Harare reorganised hastely and it paid off.
They equalised in 34th minute to send the match into halftime on level terms.
2 minutes into the second half Martin Vengesayi had the Sunshine Boys heading for joyous when he scored.
Harare City held fort to claim 3 points. This lifted the Harare City Council sponsored side two places up onto 17 points.
In his post match reaction with Jefferson Ndhlovu of soka25east.com coach Ncube had this to say “We needed the 3 points more than them”
“We were a team on a mission, and all went according to plan and we did our home work accordingly”.
Beefy as the coach is affectionately called added “In our presentation we highlighted, their strengths and weakness visa vee ours, hence the boys managed to wither the storm” an excited birthday boy said.
Bantu Rovers succumbed to their 11th loss of the season and its not looking so good for the Premiership returnees. Chapungu FC arrived in hoping to stop the goal bleeding.
In the week 14 fixture they conceded 4 goals again Dynamos before the 60th minute mark. That match was abandoned due to upright that crumbled. PSL is yet to decide on the fate of the match.
They would not have more happier than visiting a troubled Rovers in hope of forgetting the Dembare onslaught the previous week.
And truly found the smiles they needed. In the 57th minute Raymond Sibanda slotted home to hand the Airmen 3 points that pushed them to 18 points and maintaining the standing position on the table. They have been quietly dodging the relegation waters after staying at bottom some weeks in the opening stages. But they are out and would take consistent losses to drop back into the danger zone for them. But meanwhile, The Bekhitemba Ndlovu coached side need to find a formula real soon others the ticket to division one will be bought sooner than later.
Hwange 2 (Houdlacks Kaunda 34′, Tendai Mate 73′)
Shabanie Mine 0
Two goals from Houdlacks Kaunda and Tendai Mathe in the 34th and 73rd minutes respectively was all the Coal Miners needed.
Its dog eat dog at the bottom of the table. Hwange FC might be realising that as the second half of season is under way. Three points will be vital especially playing at home. And when you have visitors who are equally relegation threatened in Shabanie Mine, letting those points disappear could be disastrous.
How Mine 0
The Bulawayo derby in the battle between two expatriate coaches, it was a cautious and dull nil all out.
Neither Zambian Kelvin Kaindu nor Dutchman Errol Hickey could inspire his team to collect maximum points. But both sides should be content with not lose in the derby.
Taurai Mangwiro should be a happy man to have capitalised on the absence of ZPC Kariba head coach in the dug out, as Sunday Chidzambwa negotiates the Zimbabwe national team in the Cosafa tournament which commenced Sunday. His troops for Warriors take to field today.
But back home in Zimbabwe, his boys could not do much on the road to the sugarcane town of Chiredzi. They went down 1nil to resilient Triangle United FC.
A solo 23rd minute goal by Dzingai Chirambamuriwo was enough to push Triangle to 18 points on table.
Caps United vs Yadah