Who will it be?

HARARE - The title race is reaching a thrilling climax with FC Platinum, CAPS United and Highlanders all still in with a chance of winning the coveted Castle Lager Premiership crown.

This is uncharted territory for FC Platinum, who are in search of their first title since promotion into the top flight five years ago, while for the Green Machine and Bosso it has been a long wait since they last got their hands on the trophy.

CAPS last won the championship in 2005 and Highlanders’ previous triumph was a year later.

With five games to go before the season comes to an end, all three teams have a chance of clinching the title.

Log leaders FC Platinum strolled past ailing Harare giants Dynamos 2-0 on Saturday at Mandava Stadium.

It was the first time in their history that the Zvishavane-based side have completed a double over DeMbare having won the reverse fixture 1-0 at Rufaro Stadium earlier this season.

CAPS United and Highlanders followed up with impressive wins against How Mine and Ngezi Platinum Stars respectively, on Sunday to keep their dreams alive.

In their match against How Mine at the National Sports Stadium, United needed a last gasp Dominic Chungwa header to secure a 3-2 win while Bosso ironically also needed a last-minute penalty converted by Erick Mudzingwa to salvage maximum points for Erol Akbay’s side.

As it stands, FC Platinum are enjoying a one-point lead over second-placed United who have clung stubbornly to their coat-tails with 50 points while Bosso are on 47 points.

Of course the growing body of opinion is backing the notion that the platinum miners are favourites to win their maiden title having fought gallantly to maintain the pole position recently.

To be crowned champions, FC Platinum need to win their last five matches without worrying about what their rivals do.

Norman Mapeza’s men still have to face Harare City (away), Ngezi Platinum (home), Chapungu (away), Highlanders (home) and Tsholotsho (away).

Mapeza is hoping his charges will not get carried away by their lead at the top and keep focus until the season ends.

After watching his team dismiss Dynamos, Mapeza, who won the league title with Monomotapa in 2008, advised his boys to take it one game at a time.

“I’m happy the boys worked so hard and I give them credit for the character they have shown. After the Border Strikers game I told my players that if you really want to achieve something at the end of the season we have to fight and I think they did just that,” Mapeza said.

“They showed character, came out fighting and I think we deserved the victory more than anything else. We however, don’t want to concentrate much on ... CAPS United, otherwise we will lose focus. The most important thing is for us to stay focused on our game.”    

For the Green Machine to be crowned champions they will be counting on any slip-up by FC Platinum in those remaining fixtures.

Makepekepe still have to face Border Strikers (away), Dynamos (home), Harare City (away), Ngezi Platinum (home) and Chapungu (away).

United coach Lloyd Chitembwe hailed his team’s resilience and still believes the log leaders will slip-up to give them a chance.

“CAPS United being CAPS United; I think when the season started, it has always been our ambition to win the league and with this situation we find ourselves in, I think there is no reason for us not to believe that we can win it,” Chitembwe said.

“This is the kind of character we are expecting from the players especially at this stage of the season.”

Bosso had to dig deep on Sunday against a plucky Ngezi side and in the end were grateful to the stupidity of the visitors’ defender Talent Chamboko, who foolishly pulled Ralph Matema inside the box leaving referee Philani Ncube no choice but to point to the spot.

Mudzingwa made no mistake from the spot despite having to wait for over six minutes as Ngezi Platinum players protested the penalty call.

Akbay’s side will face Chapungu (away), Bulawayo City (home), Tsholotsho (home), FC Platinum (away) and Hwange.

Comments (1)

FC Platinum deserves the crown...I pray that they carry their present form until the end of the season....#thank u Nomara.

masi produxionz - 28 September 2016

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