We're still in it - Chakoroma

HARARE - Ngezi Platinum Stars captain Liberty Chakoroma believes his side is still in with a big chance of winning their maiden Castle Lager Premiership title.

The Mhondoro-Ngezi-based side suffered a major blow to their title quest when they went down 1-0 to relegation-threatened Yadah FC on Saturday at Rufaro Stadium.

Madamburo were below par in that defeat as they rarely created any meaningful chances to collect three points.

In the end, they succumbed to a Zvikomborero Bizeki stoppage time strike from outside the box after they had failed to secure or charge down the second ball following a Yadah corner kick.

Bizeki unleashed a low valley volley that cut across the grass before going in at Ngezi goalkeeper Donovan Bernard’s bottom left corner.

It was virtually the last kick of the match and defeat left Ngezi some five points behind log leaders and defending champions FC Platinum with only seven games to go before the season comes to an end.

In those remaining matches, Ngezi still have to play against CAPS United (h), Bulawayo City (a), Chapungu (h), Harare City (a), Bulawayo Chiefs (h), FC Platinum (a) and Black Rhinos (h).

Chakoroma is not giving up though and is convinced they can cut down FC Platinum’s seemingly commanding position.      

“Obviously, we are not throwing in the towel yet. There are still seven more games to play and our aim is to will all those remaining matches, Chakoroma told the Daily News.

“We have to remain united and keep on working hard like what we have been doing all season. This is football and anything can happen in those remaining five matches.

With a trip to visit FC Platinum still on the cards before the season ends, Chakoroma is targeting that fixture as the turning point in the season.

“That’s the game in which we have to show that we want to win the title by collecting three points at Mandava,” the defender said.

“We need to get to that game still close enough to FC Platinum; that means we need to win all our games and hope they drop points along the way.”

After the defeat to Yadah, Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya has bemoaned his side’s poor showing against “small teams”.

Ndiraya believes his side lack motivation when they are up against teams in the bottom half of the log.

Chakoroma is bemused by their lack of positive results in matches against the so called lesser opposition.

“To tell you the truth, I’m also surprised by the way we have performed against these teams,” the former Free State Stars defender said.

“It’s not like we go into those matches with little motivation, we always approach every game with the same motivation; we do not underrate any team.

“It’s just something we have to correct in our remaining matches. I just want to urge by teammates to remain focused and we will get it right.”

At the Yadah defeat, Ndiraya called for consistency from his team in the remaining seven matches.

“At this stage of the season, you would want to be consistent and I have always felt that consistency is lacking in our team. I think it has to do with the mental fitness from the players,” he said.

“We tend to relax when we post good results, when we play small teams, we come with a very negative attitude.

“The fight we saw against Yadah is different from the fight we saw against Highlanders or ZPC Kariba. We tried to freshen up the team by bringing some fresh legs thinking it would re-energise the team.

“Yes we saw that in the first 15 minutes but after that there was nothing really; we didn’t look like a team that is fighting for the championship.” This weekend, Ngezi turn their attention to the Chibuku Super Cup first round where they host Herentals at Baobab Stadium this weekend.

Chibuku Super Cup Fixtures

Friday: Harare City v Bulawayo City (Rufaro)

Saturday: FC Platinum v Chapungu (Mandava), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Herentals (Baobab), Black Rhinos v Nichrut (NSS), Dynamos v Bulawayo Chiefs (Rufaro)

Sunday: Highlanders v Yadah (Barbourfields), CAPS United v ZPC Kariba (NSS), Triangle United v Shabanie Mine (Gibbo)

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