FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum, Bosso lead the way

HARARE - Three teams - Highlanders, FC Platinum  and Ngezi Platinum Stars - maintained their 100 percent record start to the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season this weekend.

While it might be early days yet in the new campaign, these three sides have shown early intent of going all the way and fight for the title.

Defending champions FC Platinum are top of the log with six points after they were given maximum points for their walkover against ZPC Kariba on a 3-0 scoreline before they dispatched Yadah FC 2-0 at Mandava Stadium on Saturday.

Marshall Mudehwe and Farai Madhanhanga were on target for Pure Platinum Play.

The Zvishavane-based side’s caretaker coach Lizwe Sweswe pointed out that their main goal this season is to defend the title and return to the African Champions League where they bowed out on the first hurdle this year. 

“We played well and I am happy we managed to collect three points at home. We have started the season very well and need to push like that,” Sweswe told reporters after the win over Yadah.

“Our target is to defend the title and to do that we need to start the season on a good note.”

Sweswe is currently standing in for head coach Norman Mapeza, who is currently on a sabbatical due to health reasons.

Ngezi Platinum are in second place also on six points after identical 2-0 wins over Herentals and Triangle in their first two matches.

Tonderai Ndiraya’s side got their goals from Clive Augusto and Xolisani Moyo in the victory over the Sugar Sugar Boys.

Madamburo missed the title last season by the faintest of margins after fading away in the last five matches.

The Ngezi coach was pleased that his side was able to absorb the pressure Triangle exerted on their goal.

Goalkeeper Donovan Bernard even saved a second half penalty from Kudzai Chigwida with the scores still 0-1.  

“It was a very difficult match in terms of the climatic conditions here in the Lowveld; a difficult match in terms of the chances we created and failed to convert,” Ndiraya said.

“I thought we were very much in control of the first half but we failed to put away the chances we created. We created about five or six good scoring chances but again I’m disappointed that we failed to put them away.

“The second half was difficult ... but look my boys fought very hard. We fought very hard; there were some moments when Triangle were in control of the game ...”

“When that happens, it means you are going to be under pressure; we sucked in that pressure quite well.”

After surviving relegation last season, Shabanie Mine find themselves in an unfamiliar fourth position on the log with four points.

The Chinda Boys started the season with a shock 1-0 win over Triangle a fortnight ago before embarking on a memorable comeback to draw 3-3 with Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

Shabanie trailed 3-0 after 66 minutes after DeMbare had scored through Valentine Kadonzvo, Kudzanai Dhemere and Quality Kangadze.

However, the Chinda Boys produced a great escape as David Temwanjira scored a brace while Richard Kawondera netted the other.

The comeback sent Shabanie coach Takesure Chiragwi over the moon.

“I’m very happy because we are moving forward. This gives us confidence for our game on Friday, the morale now is high; we just have to see how far we can go in our next game,” Chiragwi said.

“What we want to do is finish the season in a respectable position.”

Former champions Chicken Inn are in fifth place with four points following a goalless draw against new boys Nichrut at Ascot Stadium on Saturday.

The Gamecocks had started the season with a slender 1-0 victory over Dynamos.

Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas said: “Whoever touted us (for the title) should carry on while we concentrate on our game. We have just played two games, combinations are coming up but talking about the championship now is premature,” he said.

Weekend results: Harare City 1-0 Bulawayo City, Nichrut 0-0 Chicken Inn, FC Platinum 2-0 Yadah FC, Mutare City 2-3 Chapungu, Black Rhinos 2-0 ZPC Kariba, Dynamos 3-3 Shabanie Mine, Bulawayo Chiefs 2-2 CAPS United, Triangle 0-2 Ngezi Platinum, Herentals 0-2 Highlanders.

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