By Perkins-Tino Bare.
Harare.(News Of The South) – The Gamecocks stamped their paws on the league title race in all but three minutes as they once again retained their 7 point lead at the summit of the table with just 5 games to go.
The Gamecocks had to rely on some late drama to see off a stubborn How Mine as Dynamos failed to capitalise on them playing later than the the other protagonists in the race. They were held to a draw by the owners of the stadium at Rufaro Stadium as Harare City made its way to that top 4 finish whilst Caps Uniited and Triangle lost their way in that race.
FC Platinum also kept their heads in the race as they saw off Division 1 bound Dongo Sawmill. At the other end of the table its still the newboys who are set to go back down with Buffaloes not yet safe as they are just 3 points off the relegation zone.
Gamecocks March On
Chicken Inn marched towards their maiden title in a Bulawayo derby as they saw off How Mine 2-1
in a match played Saturday at Luveve stadium. The Gamecocks had to coome form behind as How Mine had taken the lead as early as the 8th minute after Tembani Masuku netted in a set-piece.How Mine then went on to dominate the game and it all seemed to be falling apart for Joey Antipas especially with Gilbert Banda and Devon Chafa beating strongly at the heart of defence.
It was when two quick goals inside 3 minutes changed the outcome of the game itself, first it was the Gamecocks` golden boys Passmore Benard and Edmore Chirambadare who combined in the 87th minute for the latter` 11th goal of the season. The two have been consistent thorughout this season and if Gamecocks are to go all the way as it seems it would be on the back of these two.
Chicken Inn continued to press and it was when Moses Jackson found Toto (not the band) in the box that they found that all important lead which came just at the opportune time with a couple of minutes to go before the match was ended.
Gamecocks` coach was relieved as he could not hide his joy, “I knew we would come back. We struggled in the first half but took control in the second half and came back from the jaws of defeat. We have to show this kind of character if we are to win the championship. It is good to get back to our winning ways and we have to continue to the business end,” Antipas said in a post-match interview with a local daily. The losing gaffer Jermiah Makota blamed the loss on whta was the defining moment of the game, their late red card which changed the whole complexion of the game but he
praised his boys for playing a good game overally.
FC Platinum ensured that they remain in touch with the Gamecocks as they were in no nonsense mood seeing off Whawha 3-0. FC platinum has managed to remain positive in the league race and this is one team that could realistically spoil the chicken party that is already starting. The crucial match will be against the Gamecocks themselves in what is set to the title decider.
Glamour Boys Falter
Dynamos failed to keep up with the pace as they were held by Harare City in a match that was unfairly played on a Sunday after the rest of the title chasing teams had played on Saturday. It was another goalless affair at Rufaro Stadium as they failed to get that crucial win they needed which left them 7 points adrift of the log leaders with 5 games to play.
“I think we dominated the whole match. The guys fought hard. They did everything to win the match, but it wasn’t our day. I think we have one of the most reliable strike forces in the country in Takesure and Roderick. They tried their best today, they got into scoring positions, but here we are at the end of the day, we have nothing. They did their best and that is football. We just have to move on” Dynamos gaffer Tonderayin Ndiraya said in an post-match interview with a local daily.
“We will keep fighting. We still have five games to go, but like I said in previous interviews, it’s not in our hands anymore and we would still want to continue pushing hard and see where we are at the end of the season. It’s for FC Platinum and Chicken Inn to lose. But we are not throwing in the towel yet. We will keep fighting, working hard until we finish our games,” he then added.
Newboys Going Down?
Highlanders eased the relegation worries as they beat Dongo Sawmill 2-0 in a match played at Barbourfields stadium yesterday. The fading giants got their lead form Obadiah Tarumbwa before Kutsanzira doubled the lead before half time with a beautiful half-volley. The win places Highlanders on 10th position, 8 points off the relegation zone.
Highalnders gaffer Cosmas Zulu gave credit to the combination of Tarumbwa, Matema and Mutizwa and vowed that his only mandate is to keep the team floating in the league which is a rather sad development at the once famed Bulawayo giants.
ZPC Kariba made their intent to stay in the top-flight heard as they beat resurgin Caps 2-1 at Nyamhunga stadium pushing them 7 points above Flame Lily which is currently the highest placed to go down. Buffaloes were held to a 1-1 draw by Thsolotsho who are still fiighting as well to stay up.
The losses to Whawha and Dongo Sawmill did not do them any justice as they remain rooted at the bottom of the log with 2 points apiece. It is rather boring in terms of the teams that are going to go down wiht them as it looks poised to be a tussle between the newboys Tsholotsho and Flame Lily to try and swap their seats with Buffalose which is seated just 3 points above the relegation zone.
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