By Jafferson Ndhlovu,
The 2017 Castle Premier Soccer league reached the quarter mark. With a few surprises resting on the shoulders and probably throwing out of the windows what many pundits could have predicated. And the trending team are Black Rhinos, Ngezi Platinum, FC Platinum and ZPC Kariba. The traditional Zimbabwean football giants are still searching for that killer punch……only Highlanders are that close. Caps United so much involved in continental champions league and Dynamos are all off the mark.
DEMBARE’S POOR HOME FORM ESCALATING AS CHAUYA CHIPEMBERE SHOWS ITS HORNS.
Zimbabwe’s biggest club Dynamos poor home form this season continued to haunt them this afternoon after being held to 1all draw by a determined Asbestos Mine team Shabanie.
Though they finally broke the ice atleast scored a goal at home, it was not enough to make the smile.
Four league games at home this season they have suffered three identical 1nil losses. This afternoon they got a draw.
The predatory instincts of Cameroonian import Christian Epoupa was back in light again. A brilliant cross from Ocean Mushure was met instinctively by Epoupa who tapped home from close range. 16 minutes on the clock Dembare were feeling hopeful 1 nil up.
But the visitors did not travel all the way to empathise with the yester year giants. Collins Dhuwa dampened the spirits of the home fans who thought they were heading into the break leading. 45th minute heart breaker came.
But has been the miserable story of Dyanamos FC since the start of last season when they appointed Portuguese coach Silva. They have been below convincing for a club so much pedigree. Shabanie was resolute thwarting every Dembare threw at them. At the end of all the coach Llyod Mutasa should be busy calling on his gods to save him. Its not looking good at all. And it wouldn’t be insane far if the calls for chop starting sounding louder.
But it’s the club they call Chauya Chipembere who have emerged as quarterly kings. Standing tall at the apex of the Premier Soccer League.
They tormented visitors Hwange FC at the Morris Deport. Posting three unanswered goals in the net of hapless Colliery Boys.
An early goal from Jameson Mukombwe must have somewhat unsettled Hwange. Though they regained composure withstand a flurry of attacks for the soldiers.
The match looked like it was going into the break locked at 1nil. In form Milton Kureva who appears to be coming in with crucial goals, spoiled the fan the coal mine chaps. Scoring on the knick of halftime. It was 2nil in favour of the Army side. And they were smelling the pride of anchoring the top.
The hype to add more goals was still on the high in the second half. Mukombwe was unlucky not to come out with a brace. On the 60th mark he swung in an overhead kick only to cleared on the line by the vistors keeper.
Vincent Mhandu was lurking in shadows and he was not going to be left without a celebration of a goal. Blasting a final nail in 87th minute to make it 3nil.
Legendary Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa the coach for Black Rhinos has said his boys won’t be carried away by the early success. He says the primary target is still to avoid relegation. And as appears this might be achieved before the season reaches its halfmark.
Kelvin Kaindu was a visitor at his former paymasters for a fixture his current club Howmine against his immediate past club Triangle United.
And it was not the visit the Zambian mentor anticipated. His team went down fighting via a 2-1 loss.
The gap between his team and that of Triangle was evidently reduced to 3 points. The hot and performance for Howmine has always been their downfall. The team can go on a swing song for matches on end. Suddenly the steam pops out and points get dropped and they lose ground.
At the Baobab Stadium. The student found away to show his teacher how appreciative he was for the early childhood lessond. Sunday Mhofu Chidzambwa was the losing master. His fast improving side ZPC Kariba had to surrender the log leadership via 2-1 loss to Ngezi Platinum. But that summit status for Ngezi lasted barely a short while as the Army side side snatched to end the quarterly season on top.
It is the uniqueness of this battle between ZPC Kariba and Ngezi Platinum that is real text book of growth. The tactical awareness exhibited by Tonderai Ndiraya was overly distinctive to that of his former coach while both were still at Dynamos. Subtle, patient, incisive and in the end 3 points in the bag.
Chapungu FC had been anchoring the bottom end of the table for weeks on end. And was increasingly appearing that they go with it to the end.
But this weekend found a customer equally in trouble. Aware that two troubles can never correct anything they took the initiative. The Airmen scored a goal in 13th minute by Chitori was all they needed.
They locked the stables and threw the keys into the ocean. No amount of interrogation or torture brought up by Harare City FC. Those keys were never going to be found.
In the end it was 3 priceless points from that 13th minute priceless goal. At least for now.
Harare City had a long trip to the Sunshine City pondering what to do. And the bells for their coach might be getting louder and louder. Dreading every summon to the administrators office for his match report. It could just be the last match he made at Harare City FC.
A fuming Dutchman in the mould of Erol Akbay was upset with his senior team players. Accusing them of complacency against the so called unfancied teams but getting their acts together when playing big boys.
He promised to rung in changes play a relatively unseasoned size. And that decision almost proved calamitous as their opponents, new boys Bantu Rovers took an early lead through a penalty.
This must been unsettling for the Dutch. But Nadolo and Prince Dube did the magic. Scoring a goal each to get maximum points. It was a huge relief for gaffer. He probably will think twice before publicly giving a swipe at his players.
FC Platinum returned home this weekend at Madava Stadium. And had visitors in troubled Prayer Boys in Yadah Stars. Norman Mapeza and his boys were in no mood to offer guidance to the premiership debutants.
Goals from Mbweti and Takwara were enough to send FC Platinum to be overnight log leaders but too that got swapped twice in 24hours. With Black Rhinos emerging as longevity holders. As Plasto settled to end the weekend in position three. A point away from log leaders and less goal differential to Ngezi.
What started as a cause for disciplinary action for alleged insubordination by club owners, has seen the club on a straight three loses.
In Beitbridge, Bulawayo City travelled home with maximum points at the expense of hosts Tsholotsho FC.
This should push the managers of the City of Kings to 11 points. A huge relief after a string of disappointing loses. Unfortunately this loss by Tsholotsho had an even bigger casualty. The coach resigned from his job. Saying he wants someone else to try and save the club.
FULL WEEKEND RESULTS
Dynamos FC 1 – 1 Shabanie Mine FC
Ngezi Platinum FC 2 – 1 ZPC Kariba FC
Black Rhinos FC 3 – 0 Hwange FC
Triangle United FC 2 – 1 Howmine FC
Chapungu FC 1 – 0 Harare City FC
Bantu Rovers FC 1 – 2 Highlanders FC
FC Platinum 2 – 0 Yadah Stars FC
Tsholotsho FC 0 – 1 Bulawayo City FC