ZPC continue to defy odds

HARARE - They may not be the most exciting team to watch in the Castle Premiership neither do they possess any big names amongst their ranks.

But what they lack in marquee signings they compensate in desire and a technical team that is fast gaining a reputation for changing the fortunes of offloaded players turning them into title contenders.

It thus comes as no surprise that ZPC Kariba, who are making their top-flight debut, are now in the running for the title with only six games to go before the season ends.

ZPC are in second place on the log only two points behind leaders Dynamos, who they they in the penultimate match before the season ends next month.

The league debutants have a long list of unsung heroes amongst their ranks who have made their first season in the top flight a fairytale.

With seasoned players like Limited Chikafa, Tawanda Nyamandwe, Pride Tafirenyika and David Redhiyoni no one had stopped to give ZPC a chance when the season started.

But six games to go before the season ends, here they are in the top echelons of the league table ad have a real chance of winning the league.

Game by game, the Kariba-based side have stayed within touching distance of the leaders as they refused to go away.

Their goalkeeper and captain Tendai Hove perhaps has proven to be the rock that ZPC’s title challenge has been built on.

Saul Chaminuka’s men have the second best defensive record in the league having conceded 16 goals in 24 games.

Perhaps it is ZPC goalkeepers coach Tembo Tshuma who seldom receives any mention but is worthy of all the praise.

Tshuma is credited for refining the two best goalkeepers in the land in 2012 and 2013 during his days at Highlanders where he helped Munyaradzi Diya and Aerial Sibanda to be at the top of their game.

Last Sunday, it was ZPC Kariba’s solidity at the back that ensured they emerged from Hartsfield Rugby Ground with maximum points after beating Highlanders 1-3.

It was a significant result as it severely dented Bosso’s title aspirations leaving the Bulawayo giants some seven points behind Dynamos.

Even the Bosso fans could not stand the result as they pelted the pitch with missiles calling for the resignation of coach Kelvin Kaindu.

Truth be told, Highlanders were clearly outclassed by the well-drilled ZPC side and their fans took away the gloss from the debutants’ victory.

Headlines the following day were all about the violence that erupted at Hartsfield and the future of Kaindu as Bosso’s coach.

ZPC Kariba had however, shown true character of a title winning side after venturing into the backyard of a fellow title contender and emerged intact.

If ZPC win the title, Chaminuka will look back at this result and reflect on its importance as one of the turning points of the season.

The remaining six matches will be tough for ZPC as they still have to play against Dynamos and CAPS United; two of the remaining sides with a realistic chance of winning the title.

The league novices have however, shown enough especially last Sunday against Bosso that if they stick to their game plan they can cap off a fairytale season by winning the title.

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