By Jefferson Ndhlovu
The first instalment of what usually and arguably the biggest matches on the Zimbabwe Castle Premier Soccer League calendar went up in flairs this past Sunday afternoon. Not the kind of things you expect from much anticipated match.
It was a match of giants of Zimbabwean football, Highlanders versus Dynamos at the Barbourfield Stadium in the City of Kings – Bulawayo. The match will now go to the boardrooms for decisions to find a way forward.
Rahman Katsandzira had opened the scoring for the home side in the 23rd minute. But chaos rared its ugly face when it appeared the match was going into the break with Highlanders leading their fiercest rivals with one goal to nil.
A 42nd minute goal by Cameroonian import Christian Entouba to level the match started the cycle of ugly happenings.
Highlanders fans thought Entouba scored from an offside position and they started pelting all sorts of missiles targeting assistant referee Thomas Musasa. Whom they accused of failing to flag for offside.
The Fracas escalated and Highlanders officials together with match day marshals tried to plead with fans to calm down but to no avail. Even the Vice of President of Zifa present at Stadium accompanied by the match commissioner did try to implore the fans to atleast stop missiling. But there was not much luck. Eventually both teams and officials took cover in the dressing and never returned to the field of play.
Another disappointing scenario in the football loving country. It is hoped that the powers that be will act decisively to plug this unruly behaviour out of football. As genuine football lovers are denied the chance to enjoy the dubbed most beautiful game.
Away from the chaos, at the Police grounds in Harare. Ngezi Platinum was returning to the summit of table with sixteen points after handing Harare City their third defeat of season. Piling more misery on the Sunshine City Boys.
A one nil was enough to hand the Tonderayi Ndiraya coached boys the button for this 2017 marathon.
City had looked to have picked the pieces and started posting good results but fail short and surrender three points when it matterd and continue languishing in the relegation positions.
Triangle United made a tedious and long trip from Chiredzi to the Coal Mining Town of Hwange and salvaged a point.
Considering how Hwange FC can be stubborn at there homeground. This could be a welcome point for the visitors.
Chapungu FC continued with the poor start of the season. It seems their troubles are coming to end anytime soon. They can’t seem to post a win at all.
They have so far lost four times and drawn the same number of times.
This Sunday’s short visit to Zvishavane from Gweru added to that bad points tally. Only recording a draw on the trip. It’s not looking good for the Airmen. The four points so far retained have them still tied to the bottom of table. They will need to soon start posting three points. Otherwise they might as well forget about top flight football come 2018.
Veteran coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa is slowly and cunningly making his side ZPC Kariba an impenetrable opponent in 2017.
After starting the season slow the boys from the tourist and electricity town of Kariba are collecting maximum without making too much noise on the scene.
Two goals in each half win over Tsholotsho FC shot them straight summit of ZPSL table on Saturday at least overnight in the week eight encounter with a game in hand. But the win by leaders relegated them to a still very good second position.
Which will make them feel bullish going into the reschedule match against troubled Dynamos FC in midweek at home. Chidzambwa on the other hand is revered son of Dynamos both as a player and coach.
It would appear the absence of coach Jairos Tapera on the bench is continuing to haunt Yadah Stars. They lost their third game in succession going down 0 – 1 to Chicken Inn at the National Sports Stadium in the capital city. The second loss without Tapera
Though Tapera was reportedly seen at the training ground towards the end of week. It his assistant Thomas Rusive who took to the dug out. Ruzive was quoted after the loss saying Yadah is not panicking. Those are words of a man of faith. It is yet to be seen how the Prayer Boys will progress.
Meanwhile in Bulawayo two of Zimbabwes’ the highest paid coaches Norman Mapeza and Kelvin Kaindu locked horns. With the ultimate result of a stalemate to show for their hefty paychecks.
Howmine’s Kaindu would probably be the happier one with a home draw. But his Zvishavane based counterpart must be hitting his head against the wall on what best to do it in terms of scoring goals by his boys.
Mapeza and his in born defence minded structure of play could be coming back home to haunt him. They probably boasts one the strongest defences in the league having allowed only 3 goals.
The good defensive record boastful of Platinum FC, is only bettered by Army side Black Rhinos. They are sitting nicely third on the table having only conceded 2 goals in seven matches. With four wins, two draws and one loss. Not a bad outing for the Premiership returnees so far.
Chauya Chipembere appear to be sending a message to the big boys that they are not back in top flight to just make numbers. They have been great both at home and away.
They outsmarted Bulawayo City in the City of Kings via a 50th minute penalty. Which they held on for the remainder of match to snatch the three points.
Full Weekend Results.
ZPC Kariba 2 – 0 Tsholotsho
Yadah 0 – 1 Chicken Inn
Bulawayo City 0 -1
How Mine 0 – 0 FC Platinum
Sunday, May 14
Hwange 0 – 0 Triangle United
Shabanie Mine 0 – 0 Chapungu
Harare City 0 – 0 Ngezi Platinum
Highlanders v Dynamos