Division One action back this weekend

10 Aug, 2018 - 00:08 0 Views
Division One action back this weekend

The Chronicle

Soccer-Coaching

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
SOUTHERN Region Division One League games resume this weekend after a two-week mid-season break, with leaders Hwange and second-placed Tsholotsho anticipating tight competition in the homestretch.

Hwange lead the league table with 37 points, six ahead of Tsholotsho after 16 games.

The coalminers, who were relegated from the Premiership alongside Tsholotsho last season, are seeking a quick return to the topflight and travel to Bulawayo to face Toronto at Gifford High School tomorrow.

Nation Dube, Hwange’s coach, said “The homestretch will be tougher than the first half of the season because teams have worked on their shortcomings and even bolstered their squads. It will be a tight race and what we have to do is avoid complacency and approach each game like a final. We only have a six-point lead that we have to protect and can’t afford to drop points, meaning we are really feeling the pressure.”

Hwange have maintained their squad and missed out on target striker, Stanley Ngala, who moved from Tsholotsho to Bulawayo Chiefs.

Tsholotsho coach, Joseph Sibindi said the title race is still open, adding that any of the top seven teams have a mathematical chance of winning the championship.

“Statistics show that teams above 20 points can still win the championship. I think it’s too early to tip Hwange or us as title favourites because we’ve seen in the past teams getting to this stage with leads of between seven and 12 points only to lose the title race.

“Remember at one time FC Platinum had a lead of 12 points at the halfway stage, but went on to lose the title to Dynamos. We also had at some point Bulawayo Chiefs losing the title to Bantu Rovers, having led by seven points at the halfway point. So in essence we are bracing for a more competitive second half of the season,” said Sibindi.

Tsholotsho lost striker Ngala to Chiefs and utility player Remmington Masuku to Botswana, but brought on board defender Farai Chirava from Gweru’s Lesaffre, utility player Khalimani Ncube from ZRP Bulawayo as well as winger Brendon Rendo and striker, Terrence Ranga from NRZ Tigers.

Fixtures
Tomorrow: Zim Leopards v Casmyn (Luveve), ZRP Bulawayo Province v Bosso 90 (Ross Camp), Makomo v Indlovu Iyanyathela (postponed), CIWU v Mainline (Crescent, 12PM), ZPC Hwange v Talen Vision (Hwange, 12PM), Tsholotsho v Mosi Rovers (Luveve, 12PM), Toronto v Hwange (Gifford, 12PM)

Sunday: NRZ Leopards v Moto Moto (Dete)
*All matches kickoff 3PM unless stated

Table
P     W     D     L     F     A     GD     Pts
Hwange     16     11     4     1     30     9     21     37

Tsholotsho     16     8     7     1     17     8     9     31

Indlovu Iyanyathela     16     7     6     3     24     13     9     27

Talen Vision     16     6     7     3     21     12     9     25

ZPC Hwange     16     6     7     3     12     8     4     25

Bosso 90     16     6     6     4     16     12     4     24

Makomo     16     6     6     4     20     18     2     24

CIWU     16     5     8     3     17     15     2     23

Mosi Rovers     16     6     2     8     17     19     -2     20

Moto Moto     16     4     7     6     12     14     -2     19

Zim Leopards     16     4     5     7     13     21     -8     17

Casmyn     16     4     4     8     11     19     -8     16

NRZ Leopards     16     3     5     8     11     19     -8     14

Toronto     16     1     10     5     8     16     -8     13

Main Line     16     3     3     10     10     23     -13     12

ZRP Bulawayo     16     3     3     10     10     23     -13     12

— @ZililoR

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