Leading pack pulls clear

HARARE - Log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars and second placed FC Platinum all picked up important wins during a weekend most of the trailing contenders failed to pick up maximum points.

Ngezi Platinum lead the Castle Lager Premiership standings with 26 points from 10 matches following another impressive 5-0 win over Yadah FC at Baobab Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from Donald Teguru, James Nguluve, Malon Mushonga, Terrence Dzvukamanja and Clive Augusto ensured that Tonderai Ndiraya’s side keep their unbeaten record.

“I thought we were very clinical; we have had some problems before of goal scoring. We were creating a number of chances but I was not really impressed by our finishing,” Ndiraya said after their win over Yadah FC.

“Thank God, against Yadah we were clinical in front of goal which is quite promising and our defence was also solid at the back.

“This is our first time this season to score so many goals which is very satisfying but we are done with this game and we are moving forward with our focus now on the game against CAPS United.”

FC Platinum were able to keep up their pressure on Madamburo with a hard-fought 1-2 away win over Herentals at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday which moved them to 25 points.

The students scored first in controversial circumstances following a clash between Pure Platinum Play goalkeeper Francis Tizayi and his captain Gift Bello.

With Tizayi and Bello all lying on the floor, Herentals’ midfielder Juan Mutudza took advantage to slot the ball into an empty net.

The defending champions, however, found the equaliser through midfielder Never Tigere just before half time.

Substitute Gift Mbweti scored the winning goal a minute after coming onto the pitch when he got to the end of a Tigere cut back four minutes before full time.

This was the second time in three matches that Pure Platinum Play had scored a winning goal in the dying stages which left coach Norman Mapeza pleased with his side’s fighting spirit.

“This shows that our endurance levels are OK but we still need to do more to kill off matches. It is important to get those early goals to settle the nerves of everyone,” Mapeza said after the match.

“But at the end of the day what we wanted was a win. It doesn’t matter whether we it comes in the last minute or not, what we wanted was a win.” 

On his side’s chance of defending their title, Mapeza said: “For us a club, it’s a long marathon and we just want to stay in the mix. We don’t want to be behind the leading team by six or eight points.

“At the moment we are just one point and I think it is good for us because at the end of the day our objective is to retain the league but at the moment we are in second position.”

For many weeks, Highlanders looked like they were going to be the team that would challenge the platinum teams for the title but they came unstuck at the weekend.

Madinda Ndlovu’s side succumbed to their first home defeat of the season going down to struggling ZPC Kariba 2-1 at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

That defeat left Bosso in third place but they now trail Ngezi Platinum by six points from 10 matches.

Chicken Inn and Triangle all won to take their points tally to 19 which makes them dark horses for the title if they continue with the good form.

CAPS’ stuttering start to the 2018 campaign continued with a 1-1 away draw with Shabanie Mine which left them in seventh place with 16 points.

Dynamos on the other hand, reverted back to their losing form going down 2-1 to Harare City at Rufaro on Sunday which left them in 12th place with nine points.    


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