WASHINGTON DC —
Zimbabwe sports fans are in for a treaty with an assortment of exciting fixtures across an array of sporting events.
An appetizing sporting weekend is on the cards for sports lovers with exciting line ups on the menu in football, rugby, and cricket.
Castle Lager Premiership action returns after a one-week break with Dynamos’ Portuguese coach Jorge Paulo Silva still in charge of the club despite speculation over his future since the two losses in the Independence Trophy to Chicken Inn and FC Platinum.
The club executive has given Silva a three-game ultimatum and the coach himself knows he is sitting on a knife edge as Dembare fans are looking for nothing short of a return to winning ways starting with the away visit to struggling Mutare City at Sakubva Stadium Sunday.
Club president Kenny Mubaiwa revealed that they have given Silva and his technical team three matches to pick up the maximum nine points failure of which they would have sacked themselves.
“We want nine points out of those three games. Nothing short of nine points the whole technical team have fired themselves. No nine points, it means they are no longer coaches at Dynamos,” says Mubaiwa.
Dynamos are falling behind as they are five points behind joint leaders Chicken Inn and FC Platinum with the Game Corks expected to extend their lead at the top of the table against Kelvin Kaindu’s How Mine on Saturday.
Former Dynamos defender Guthrie Zhokini, who is now turning out for Triangle, says it is not good to see Zimbabwe’s most popular football team struggling.
He says the 1998 CAF Champions League finalists should pull up their socks for the good of Zimbabwean football.
“They are not a bad side but things are difficult for them. They must pull up their shocks,” says Zhokini.
FC Platinum, who pulled off a shocker with that famous 2-1 win over Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium, are favorites to pick up three points against an inconsistent Chapungu that plays well at home but worst away from Ascot Stadium.
After reaching the Zimbabwe National Army Charities Shield and the Independence Trophy finals, Highlanders fans are impressed by the groundwork done by Dutch coach Errol Agbay.
However, the Dutch coach has a tough task ahead as his Bosso side are locked in a tough Bulawayo duel against Tsholotsho Pirates in a game that has all the hallmarks of a thriller on Sunday.
Sunday Chidzambwa’s ZPC Kariba will be at their favourite hunting ground of Nyamhunga Stadium where they will face Bulawayo City whose coach Pilani Ncube thinks Premiership football is not all that difficult but adds that they still have some grey areas to work on.
“There are a lot of grey areas that we should work on. We need to believe in ourselves and we must show our character. But unfortunately, we are still not that strong mentally,” says Ncube.
Other matches in week three will see Ngezi Platinum Stars making the long trip to Hwange for a date at the Colliery while the Green Machine of Caps United have a tough home game against Harare City which is coached by their former mentor Taurayi Mangwiro.
Triangle round off the weekend’s football fixtures with a home game against struggling newly promoted Boarder Strikers.
That aside, the International Rugby Board Under 20 World Trophy enters its second round with Zimbabwe hoping for a change of fortune at Harare Sports Club Saturday.
The Young Sables lost their opening game 24-54 to Samoa and another defeat this time against Uruguay could lead to elimination.
In that respect, Zimbabwe need to win against Uruguay to maintain the public’s interest in the eight team rugby extravaganza. The other matches will see Samoa entertain Fiji while the USA will meet Spain.
Now to cricket: Top class action will also be at Alex and Country Sports Club where the Zimbabwe women’s cricket team hosts a four-team 2018 Twenty 20 World Cup Africa Zone qualifying tournament that will also feature, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
At the last qualifiers hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the World Cup despite beating both Kenya and Uganda in the Group Stages.
This time around coach Trevor Phiri says they are ready for qualification saying they will guard against complacency against old foes.
“We are not having that complacency that we beat them the last time, then it’s a walk over. We are ready for them as we have been working hard,” said Phiri.
The winning team will qualify for the global World Cup qualifiers.