2018 PSL season concludes

HARARE - The 2018 Castle Lager Premiership campaign comes to end with at least eight matches taking place across the country this afternoon.

FC Platinum have already been crowned champions for a second successive year while Nichrut, Mutare City Rovers and Shabanie Mine together with Bulawayo City were relegated.

At the start of the season, Ngezi Platinum Stars, having finished in third place in 2017, looked like they were ready to wrestle the title away from FC Platinum.

Madamburo were undefeated in their first 14 league matches as they exhibited some swashbuckling football.

The only points they dropped during that period were in two draws against Shabanie Mine and ZPC Kariba all away from home.

What made that run more impressive is the fact they faced all the three giants — CAPS United, Dynamos and Highlanders — emerging with maximum points in the process.

At that point, it looked like there was no team that was going to be able to stop the platinum miners on their quest for a maiden Premiership title since promotion in 2016.

However, Tonderai Ndiraya and his men finally came unstuck in Week 15 when they travelled to Barbourfields Stadium to face newly-promoted side Bulawayo Chiefs.

Madamburo lost that match 1-0 and what followed was unimaginable in the early stages of the season.

Ngezi went on to lose three more consecutive matches to FC Platinum, Herentals and Black Rhinos.

That poor run eventually allowed FC platinum to regain top spot while Ngezi dropped to second.

They never really recovered from that ordeal as their season wilted.

Ndiraya eventually lost his job with five games to go as his team trailed FC Platinum by five points.

At that stage, it was now evident Madamburo would find it hard to claw their way back into the title race and the Zimplats bosses decided to cut ties with Ndiraya.

FC Platinum went on to win the title with two games to spare when they beat Shabanie Mine 0-1 at Maglas Stadium earlier this month.

Pure Platinum Play finished their season early on Wednesday when they drew 0-0 with Highlanders at Barbourfields.

Norman Mapeza’s side finished the campaign with 78 points and narrowly missed on eclipsing the 79-points tally record set by CAPS United back in 2004.

From very early on in the season, it was evident the title race was going to be between the two platinum teams while the rest of the league had to play catch-up.

Chicken Inn and Triangle United looked like they were going to be the anti-platinum this season as they looked best equipped to take on FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum.

However, the Gamecocks and the Sugar Sugar Boys were very inconsistent throughout the season to mount a serious challenge.

Chicken Inn are currently in third place with 56 points while Triangle are fourth, a point behind.   

CAPS United, Dynamos and Highlanders were never really contenders despite their illustrious history and achievements.

Highlanders are in fifth place with 51 points and could find themselves dropping further if results do not favour them in the matches taking place this afternoon.

Makepekepe can leapfrog Bosso into fifth place if they beat Chapungu at the National Sports Stadium today.  

However, that will all depend on whether sixth-placed Herentals fail to beat Shabanie Mine at Maglas.

Dynamos were a pale shadow of the side that finished in second place in 2016 as they spent most of the current campaign in the bottom half of the log flirting with relegation resulting in the sacking of coach Lloyd Mutasa.

Lloyd “MaBlanyo” Chigowe was appointed on an interim basis before eventually saving the team from the drop with key wins over CAPS, Black Rhinos and Herentals.

The Glamour Boys are in 11th place with 42 points and take on Nichrut hoping to end this forgettable 2018 campaign with at least a victory following consecutive draws against Triangle United and Mutare City in their last two games.

FIXTURES

Today: Yadah FC v Harare City (Rufaro), ZPC Kariba v Bulawayo Chiefs (Nyamhunga), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Black Rhinos (Baobab), Chicken Inn v Triangle United (Luveve), Nichrut v Dynamos (Ascot), CAPS United v Chapungu (NSS), Mutare City Rovers v Bulawayo City (Vengere), Shabanie Mine v Herentals (Maglas)

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