Antipas defiant in title run in

HARARE – Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas says despite failing to garner maximum points in their last three matches, the destination of the Castle Lager Premiership title remains in their control.

The Gamecocks maintained their two-point lead at the top-of-the-table after they were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Tsholotsho on Wednesday while their closest rivals FC Platinum failed to capitalise on the slip-up.

It was the Bulawayo-based side third 1-1 draw on the trot as they appear to be choking as the season enters its final lap.

Antipas’ men last picked up maximum points when they beat city rivals How Mine 2-1 last month and since then they appear to be stumbling.

They were held 1-1 by FC Platinum in a top-of-the-table clash when they two teams met at the end of last month.

Chicken Inn followed that result with another 1-1 draw against relegated Whawha before Wednesday’s disappointment against Tsholotsho.

To win the title, Antipas’ men need to ensure that they better whatever FC Platinum manage in the remaining two matches.

This afternoon, the Gamecocks have a tough encounter against Harare City at Luveve Stadium before closing their season against relegation-haunted Flame Lily.

Antipas admitted there is pressure associated with being log-leaders at this stage of the season, but remained confident his experienced side will be able to handle the situation with maturity.

“We need to always think positively. Until our last three matches, we have had a fantastic Premier League campaign, and we need to continue playing like that,” Antipas told the Daily News.

“There will be a lot of pressure in these last two matches and we have to try to stay calm. It won’t be easy but we have to try.

“We only need to win our last two matches and wrap up the league. We need to stay focused and see how it goes.”

FC Platinum and third-placed Dynamos will be praying for a huge favour from Taurai Mangwiro’s Harare City miracle at Luveve Stadium this afternoon.

Dynamos appeared dead and buried a few weeks ago until their 2-1 away win over Division One-bound Dongo Sawmill in midweek resurrected their faint hopes of defending their title.

The Glamour Boys are now just four points behind Chicken Inn and two behind FC Platinum.

If results go the DeMbare’s way in these remaining two rounds, then the Harare giants might as well gate-crash their way to the title league.

In three of the four previous seasons they have won the title, Dynamos have mustered the art of being late party crashers.

Antipas, however, is convinced his side have the staying power to withstand the late pressure coming from Dynamos and FC Platinum.

“I am confident because the players are very strong and they know we have a big chance to win this title,” he said.

“I also think we deserve this after hard work. We don’t want to lose this chance to win.”

Meanwhile, the Premier Soccer League has confirmed that the trophy presentation will be conducted on the final day of the season no matter who ends up winning the league.

“The Castle Lager Premier Soccer league would like to inform its partners and stakeholders that as the Castle Lager Premiership race heads into the home stretch, and in view of various points permutations and possibilities, the trophy and medal presentation will be conducted after Matchday 30 matches on November 28, 2015 irrespective of Matchday 29 results,” said PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare.

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