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Mixed Fortunes for Zimbabwe Soccer Clubs in First PSL Games

  • Michael Kariati

It was a weekend of celebration for some and mourning for others as the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League race roared into life.

It is celebration time for almost half of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clubs after they recorded impressive 3-0 victories when the 2016 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League race took off the ground.

So impressive were defending champions Chicken Inn, who scored three goals past 1998 Caf Champions League finalists, Dynamos, with their goals coming from a double strike by Obediah Tarumbwa and another from Tafadzwa Kutinyu.

This was a bold statement of Chicken Inn’s intentions to retain their title. Coach Joey Antipas praised his boys for their sterling performance.
“Dynamos have a new coach and are going through a rebuilding exercise. They will pick up later but I am proud of my boys,” said Antipas.

Even new Dynamos coach Paulo Jorge Silva admitted that his club was no match for the Game Cocks but said his team will wake up from this slumber. “We played Chicken Inn and they are a good team. They deserved to win in the second half,” said Jorge.

This was Dynamos’ first defeat in their first game of the season since 2011 when Dembare then coached by Lloyd Mutasa lost 1-0 to the now defunct Kiglon.

However, the Game Cocks are not alone among the leaders as Highlanders, who have been very impressive during the off season, continued with their fine form with a convincing 3-0 win away to Hwange at the Colliery Stadium.

The 2006 Zimbabwe champions are celebrating their 90th anniversary and want to confirm remarks by their chief executive Officer Ndumiso Gumede that they are the biggest club in the country.
“There is no club which is as big as ours. I know there is one calledone million but I don’t think they are as big as we are. Everywhere you go people support Highlanders,” said Gumede.

Highlanders are also through to the final of the Zimbabwe National Army Charities Shield.

There were also goal galore at the National Sports Stadium where goals from Joel Ngodzo, Tafadzwa Rusike, and Moses Muchenje saw the Green Machine of Caps United come out 3-0 winners over visiting Chapungu.

Caps United welcomed back former captain Method Manjali who came in as substitute after sending more than five years in South Africa.

The other 3-0 winners were Ngezi Platinum Stars who hit Mutare City at Sakubva Stadium while Triangle settled for a modest 1-0 win over Harare City.

FC Platinum also got off to a good start with a 2-1 win over Tsholotsho Pirates while in the season opener How Mine and Bulawayo City settled for a two-all draw.

Bulawayo City had to come back from two goals down to pick up a point and seasoned coach Philani Ncube was elated by his team’s showing.
“For starters it’s a positive note. We wanted three points but still a point away from home is good enough. We need to believe in ourselves and show character,” said Ncube.

However, there was bad news coming from Barbourfields Stadium where the Zimbabwe Under 20 side were beaten 1-0 by the Zebras of Botswana in a 2016 Africa Youth Championships qualifier.

The Zimbabweans will have to produce something more astounding than in the past to overcome the Zebras in the return leg in two weeks’ time.