FC PLATINUM MAINTAIN LEAD

By MUZIWETHU HADEBE

FC PLATINUM maintained their two point lead at the top of the Castle Larger Premier Soccer League as they came from a goal down to beat fellow Platinum miners Ngezi Platinum Stars 2-1 at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane on Saturday.

The visitors shocked the log leaders when Michael Charamba who was given a rare start by Coach Tonderai Ndiraya gave the Ngezi Mhondoro side the lead after 25 minutes with a powerful shot. FC Platinum equalised on the stroke of half time through Kelvin Moyo in what was his fourth goal of the season.

FC platinum secured the points when former Hwange Midfielder Rodwell Chinyengetere scored his eighth goal of the season.

In BULAWAYO at Babourfields stadium Dynamos maintained the pressure on FC Platinum with a 3-2 victory over already relegated Bantu Rovers.

The clamour Boys raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening 24 minutes of the match with goals from Christian Epoupa, Quality Kangadze and captain Ocean Mushure.

With the match six minutes old an alert Epoupa met a low cross in the box from Kangadze with a powerful shot for his 12th goal of the season. Epoupa turned provider five minutes later as he picked Kangadze who obliged with a screamer as the Dembare took control of the match. Captain Mushure capitalised on a rare mistake by seasoned player Tapiwa Kumbuyani to slot the ball into the nets, for him to reach double figures in this term. It was Mushure’s 10th goal of the season.

With the singing Dynamos fans expecting more goals, it was Rovers who pulled one back through Mccarthy Dube two minutes from the break for only his second goal of the season as Dynamos took a 3-1 lead at the break.

Rovers were a changed side in the second half as they fought their way through it. Half time substitute Lucky Ndlela who had been on the pitch for only three minutes was brought down in the box by Dynamos midfielder Tichaona Chipunza and the referee Thabani Bhamala pointed to the spot. Nigel Papius on loan from FC Platinum converted the spot kick for his fourth goal of the season.

Thereafter it was a balanced affair with both sides missing a couple of chances with the best opportunities falling on Dynamos forward Cleopas Kapupurika who had two glorious chances towards the end.

Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa said after the match “The title is not in our hands but being Dynamos that we are, we will fight all the way and only give up on the last day”. He went on to praise Bantu Rovers Coach Methembe Ndlovu for giving a lot of youngsters a playing opportunity. “ Look we are always recycling players but Methembe always produces these stars who go on to shine on the big stage like Kuda mahachi and Marvellous Nakamba, which is good”, he said.

Ndlovu said he was proud of his boys fight back although disappointed with the end result. “I thought the performance was satisfactory, it’s just unfortunate we conceded early and it’s something which is uncharacteristic of us and we had warned the players before the match, I am overall happy though with the way we played in the second half ahead of our last match of the season”.

The two results mean that the championship will be decided on the last day of the season. FC Platinum faces Chapungu at Ascot stadium in Gweru needing a win to secure their first league title. Dynamos will need a win over Chicken Inn at home and hope that FC Platinum drop points.

muziwethuh@mysports.co.zw

VENGESAI SUSPENDED

MYSPORTS REPORTER

HARARE CITY will be hoping for maximum points at the colliery stadium when they face Hwange without the suspended Martin Vengesai in a crucial survival Castle Larger Premier Soccer league match on Sunday.

Both teams are not safe from relegation. Harare City is one place above the drop zone with 35 points while Hwange are third from the bottom on 34 points. With Bantu Rovers and Tsholotsho already relegated, two more teams face the chop on a super Sunday for survival.

Vengesai is City’s leading scorer with nine goals, he is suspended after accumulating three yellow cards and this might be a blow for the Chibuku Super Cup winners. Just last Saturday he played a key role in ensuring that City lifted their second Chibuku Super Cup.

Hwange who beat Highlanders 3-0 in their last home match will be confident of victory that will see them move above City in terms of points collected ahead of the last round of fixtures. Justice Kaunda with six goals this season and the ever improving Delic Murimba on four goals, are key for Hwange in trying to get maximum points.

The battle for survival starts at lunch time when How Mine host Shabanie Mine. Shabanie need a win to almost secure a survival spot. They currently sit on 36 points and a lot will depend on how the other teams in the relegation matrix perform. Yadah just one place above Hwange on 37 points hosts inconsistent Highlanders without the suspended Moses Demera who has been forceful upfront of late. They will face a Bosso team that misses Simon Munawa who is also suspended. Munawa has scored some important goals for Highlanders this season and is currently on seven goals.

Other suspended players in match day 33 are Remmington Masuku of Bantu Rovers and Never Tigere of ZPC Kariba.

FC PLATINUM ON THE VERGE

PLATINUM miners, FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars clash on Saturday at Mandava stadium in Zvishavane in a potential Castle Larger Premier Soccer League championship decider.

FC Platinum went top of the log on Wednesday with a crucial 1-0 victory away to Tsholotsho through a Rodwell Chinyengetere goal to sit on 66 points. They face a team that won this fixture at the Baobab stadium in Ngezi Mhondoro 2-1. Ngezi dropped to third position on the log as Chicken Inn held them to a 2-2 draw at home on the same day. Alongside Dynamos, who are second on the log after they beat Bulawayo City 2-0 at Babourfields both are two points behind the log leaders.

Dynamos have an easy task as they play an already relegated Bantu Rovers in Bulawayo on Saturday and are expected to pick a routine three points against a team that has recorded just four wins this season. With two round of fixtures left in the season an FC platinum win coupled with a surprise Dynamos loss or draw will see the Zvishavane based side lift the league title. A draw in Zvishavane and Dynamos win will see Dynamos go top on goal difference with one round of fixtures left in the league. If Ngezi win coupled with a Dynamos win, the stage will be set for the last day of the Premiership with both Dynamos and Ngezi on 67 points while FC Platinum will still be on 66 points.

FC platinum travel to Gweru for the midlands derby against Chapungu in their last match of the season. Dynamos host Chicken Inn in Harare while Ngezi Platimum stars will be at home to Triangle in the last round of fixtures. FC Platinum are looking for their first title since they came into top flight football in 2011. Ngezi Platinum stars are also looking for the first one in only their second year in the elite league.

With Bantu Rovers and Tsholotsho already relegated, the battle for survival continues with two more teams to be relegated. Bulawayo City and Hwange sitting on 35 and 34 points respectively occupy the current relegation slots. It means the trio of Yadah 37 points, Shabanie Mine 36 points and Harare city 35 points are also not safe as they go into the weekend fixtures.

Bulawayo City have a tough fixture away to Caps United in the capital. Yadah might pick three points against an inconsistent Highlanders also in Harare. Shabanie Mine need to beat How Mine away in Bulawayo to brighten their chances of remaining in the top flight league. The biggest battle will be at the colliery as Hwange host Harare City. With both fighting for survival Bigboy Mawiwi fired a few years back by Harare City will want to instill pain on his former paymasters, for a team he brought into the big league.

Round 33 Fixtures

Saturday 18 November- FC Platinum vs Ngezi Platinum Stars (Mandava); Bantu Rovers vs Dynamos (Babourfields).

Sunday 19 November- Caps United vs Bulawayo City (National sports Stadium); Yadah vs Highlanders (Rufaro); How Mine vs Shabanie Mine (Luveve 1pm); Chicken Inn vs Chapungu (Luveve 3pm); Hwange vs Harare City (Colliery); Black Rhinos vs ZPC Kariba (Morris Depot); Triangle vs Tsholotsho (Gibbo).

Current Log standings

TOP GOAL SCORERS CHART

  1. DOMINIC CHUNGWA CAPS UNITED 16
  2. LOT CHIWUNGA BLACK RHINOS 12
  3. CHRISTIAN EPOUPA DYNAMOS 11
  4. BUKHOSI SIBANDA BANTU ROVERS 10
  5. TERRENCE DZVUKAMANJA NGEZI PLATINUM 9
  6. LAMECK NHAMO TRIANGLE 9
  7. DENVER MUKAMBA DYNAMOS 8
  8. MARTIN VENGESAI HARARE CITY 8
  9. TICHAONA MABVURA NGEZI PLATINUM 8
  10. MKHULULI MOYO BULAWAYO CITY 7
  11. OCEAN MUSHURE DYNAMOS 7
  12. DANIEL CHAKUPE ZPC KARIBA 7
  13. QDAR AMIN NGEZI PLATINUM 7
  14. SIMON MUNAWA HIGHLANDERS 7
  15. RODWELL CHINYENGETERE FC PLATINUM 7

BANTU ROVERS SPLIT OWNERSHIP

BY MUZIWETHU HADEBE

Relegated Bantu Rovers Football Club directors Methembe Ndlovu and United States based Peter Grieve have parted ways in the club ownership. This was announced by Ndlovu at a press briefing in Bulawayo on Monday.

The end of their marriage will now see Ndlovu concentrate on the Bantu Rovers Youth academy from 2018, that will focus on the under 14, 16, 18 and an under 21 team. There are plans to introduce a girls’ team in the same year.

Grieve on the other hand will concentrate on the professional team to be linked with his new investment in football in Gibraltar at a club in division two called Europa PT FC. Grieve immediately took along former Bantu Rovers General Manager Wilbert Sibanda who now becomes the President and CEO of his new professional side. Ndlovu will be the President and CEO of the youth academy.

Asked if the two operations will be under one roof, Ndlovu said “These will run as separate entities, I will remain with Bantu, Wilbert and his team will decide what name to use when the time is right and I will cease to be a director under the Grieve football investment wing, in other words we are no longer partners with Grieve in the legal framework but we will be collaborating from time to time.”

The professional side is expected to start playing in 2019 and an agreement has been reached to the effect that the two entities will not compete in the same league, with the Bantu Rovers falling a league below whatever the professional set up decides to compete in. The concept though forming two separate units, will be working together especially with Bantu Rovers on the production side in terms of having juniors.

Bantu Rovers will be relegated this year after a one year stay in top flight football. They have had previous dances with the big boys like in 2014 when they purchased the franchise of Bulawayo Chiefs and were relegated in the same year. In 2009 they also bought the franchise of Eastern Lions and survived relegation before they were relegated in 2010. It leaves their current dance as the only one in which they won the division one title for them to gain entry into the PSL.

They have produced a host of players for the national team and other clubs, with MarvelousNakamba who is playing in Belgium standing out as their biggest product. They have also sent nine students to the United States for scholarships in the last 10 years.

Sibanda believes the new concept will see Bantu Rovers exporting talented players to Europe through the Gibraltar deal for the professional side.

muziwethuh@mysports.co.zw

HARARE CITY AND HOW MINE CLASH IN THE CHIBUKU SUPER CUP FINAL

BY MUZIWETHU HADEBE

Harare City and How Mine clash in this year’s Chibuku Super Cup Final at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is at 1500hrs.

City who are not safe from relegation start as favorites as they will be at home and would like to pick some silverware in a very difficult season for them. It’s a cup in which they have done well since its re introduction in 2014. They lost in the first final to FC Platinum at Mandava stadium. In 2015 they beat Dynamos in the final and finished in the semifinals last year as they look forward to a second Chibuku Super Cup title.

The Gold Miners who are safe from relegation and sit on sixth position in the league going into the final are expected to fight to the end boosted by the fact that they beat City 2-1 in their league meeting at Luveve stadium earlier in the year.

There is already a war of words between the team’s two coaches. Philani “Beefy” Ncube had at the semi final stage of this cup declared that if they were to meet How Mine it will be an obvious win. The Zambian How Mine coach Kelvin Kaindu then described City as a team that believes in so many things and start playing their matches at night, while he said they believed in God, soon after their semi final victory over Shabanie Mine.

On the road to the final How Mine beat Bantu Rovers at Ascot stadium 2-1 in the first round with goals from Kuda Musharu and Thembani Masuku. They returned to Gweru in the quarter finals to beat Chapungu by the same score line with Peter Moyo and Tinashe Makanda on target this time around. Makanda hit a brace and created one for Kudakwashe Musharu as they outclassed Shabanie Mine 3-1 in the semi final.

City accounted for Highlanders 2-1 in the first round at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane with goals from William Manondo and Gary Kufandaka. In the second round they beat Black Rhinos 1-0 through a Protasha Kabwe goal. A Martin Vengesayi back heeler goal saw them beat Bulawayo City in the semi final.

A total of 33 goals have been scored so far ahead of the final, with Makanda leading that race on three goals. The winners will collect $ 75 000, while the losing finalist are set to pocket $ 50 000. The winners will represent the country in the CAF confederations cup as well as play in the champion of champions against the Castle Larger Premier League champions.

muziwethuh@mysports.co.zw