Even as three sets of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League games were rescheduled, last weekend’s round of action still managed, however, to generate some points to ponder.
The two-pronged significance of the Mutare City Rovers-Ngezi Platinum Stars clash; the battle for a top-four finish; the relegation matrix; the hovering Battle of Zimbabwe; and Roderick Mutuma’s comeback show. These are the major highlights we picked from last weekend’s grind and we relieve them . . .
Too little too late for Mutare City Rovers?
Gusha Bhora’s surprise win over championship-chasing Ngezi Platinum Stars only but helped narrow the margin between them and other relegation-jinxed teams above them. Still staring down the barrel, such results as last weekend’s, however, may deal their cause a great favour. In spite of the largely patchy performances over the season, the municipality outfit has of late been pulling their weight with encouraging results; winning two, drawing one and losing two games of their last five. But this is one match that had a double-barreled implication. Mutare City Rovers’ victory against their more-fancied opponents, on the other hand, was a major setback for the miners as the four-point gap by which they now trail log leaders FC Platinum was restored after it had been reduced to one going into the weekend matches.
The Battle of Zimbabwe dress rehearsal
Although this was only a challenge match during the occasion of President Mnagangwa’s inauguration, Dynamos and Highlanders renewed their rivalry; whetting and heightening anticipation of the postponed-but-eagerly-awaited league game proper. In whatever circumstances DeMbare and Bosso cross swords, attention is sure to be drawn to it and with the league encounter still hovering it remains to be seen whose way the bragging rights will sway the next time they square off; with the Glamour Boys bagging Sunday’s.
Who is up Four it?
Apart from the two Platinum sides, five other teams – Chicken Inn, Triangle, CAPS United, Highlanders, and Harare City – still have a realistic chance of finishing in the ceremonial Top Four. While the former two, owing to current form and present log positions appear the nailed-on favourites, the other mentioned can still make the cut in what is turning out to be a bruising battle.
Dynamos are mathematically not entirely safe from the chop as they may still get sucked into the vortex of this defend-and-attack relegation matrix. While Shabanie Mine and Bulawayo City appear doomed, nothing should be taken for granted as they can still claw their way out of the woods if they get to fire from then hip; especially considering that the other troubled teams – Mutare City Rovers, Nichrut and Chapungu posted positive results.
Nichrut ride on Roderick
Striker Roderick Mutuma’s brace carried the day for newboys Nichrut as they battle to steer clear of relegation and preserve their Premiership status. Barely weeks after we wrote about the need for a kiss of life to revitalise the career of Mutuma, who was appearing to be turning into a “frog”, the forward responded as if on cue to help his side secure the all-important three points. This might have been a low-profile match against Yadah Stars, but Nichrut rode on Roderick as Mutuma shone on the afternoon.
If it is about football that you care let’s share the cheer because we are made for the game, mad about the game!
DeMbare bhora, Denver bhora! I wish Mukamba would focus on his career. – 0714 813 952.
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