Top teams drop points as Caps move to second spot

20 Aug, 2019 - 00:08 0 Views
Top teams drop points as Caps move to second spot

The Chronicle

Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter

IT’S a race that seemingly no one wants to win. Title favourites FC Platinum, Chicken Inn and dark horses Black Rhinos all dropped points at the weekend allowing Caps United to bulldoze their way into the title matrix.

Caps United made a statement of intent with a 2-1 victory over Highlanders at the National Sports Stadium and with that victory moved into second place; a point behind leaders FC Platinum. 

The Green Machine has collected 34 points from 19 games.

However, with reports indicating that coach Lloyd Chitembwe could be leaving the club, their title push may suffer a still-birth. It will be interesting to see if Caps United will keep Chitembwe or not as the decision could be vital in their quest to win the championship.

Caps United’s victory over Bosso ensured that Mandla Mpofu’s five-match unbeaten run came to an end. 

Defending champions, FC Platinum, maintained their grip at the top of the table despite succumbing to a 2-0 defeat to Triangle. It was their fourth defeat of the season, the same number that they lost on their way to the 2018 league title.

The Zvishavane-based outfit has had a tough campaign, with a number of key players leaving the club during the mid-season window, while coach Norman Mapeza was also forced to take sick leave at some point with back problems. 

However, the champions have managed to stay top of the table, although it’s all thanks to the chasing pack for failing the consistency test. 

FC Platinum have 35 points from 19 games and will be worried about dropping more points in what is turning out to be a tight title race.

Fighting a war on two fronts presents a tricky situation for the champions, who want to better last season’s Caf Champions League performance, while seeking to claim a third consecutive league title.

FC Platinum host Nyasa Bullets of Malawi in a Caf Champions League preliminary round encounter this weekend. The first leg in Malawi ended goalless.

Speaking after the Triangle game Mapeza said they were shifting focus to the Champions league.

“We need to regroup, soldier on, the core of the team is not here. We have lot of new faces and we are still trying new combinations. We will try to get a result on Sunday against Nyasa Bullets and see how we progress,” Mapeza said.

Elsewhere, Black Rhinos were gunned down 1-2 by Chapungu, while Hwange and Dynamos shared the spoils following a 2-2 draw and Mushowani Stars stunned ambitious Ngezi Platinum Stars 1-0.

Meanwhile, Caps United midfielder Joel Ngodzo has been named July’s Player of the Month, while Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya has been named the best coach in the month of July. 

Ndiraya’s DeMbare were undefeated during that time, winning twice and drawing two matches.

Results

Caps United 2-1 Highlanders, Herentals 1-0 ZPC Kariba, Hwange 2-2 Dynamos, Mushowani Stars 1-0 Ngezi Platinum, Triangle United 2-0 FC Platinum, Chicken Inn 1-1 Yadah, Black Rhinos 1-2 Chapungu, Harare City 1-2 Manica Diamonds, Telone 2-2 Bulawayo Chiefs

Table

P W D L F A GD Pts

FC Platinum 19 10 5 4 20 9 11 35

Caps United 19 10 4 5 30 20 10 34

Chicken Inn 18 9 4 5 27 12 15 31

Black Rhinos 19 8 6 5 19 17 2 30

ZPC Kariba 19 8 6 5 15 15 0 30

Triangle 18 8 5 5 22 17 5 29

Ngezi Platinum 19 7 7 5 17 13 4 28

Dynamos 19 7 7 5 16 14 2 28

Chapungu 19 6 7 6 19 17 2 25

Hwange 19 6 6 7 18 23 -5 24

Highlanders 18 5 8 5 12 14 -2 23

Herentals 18 4 10 4 14 14 0 22

Manica 19 5 7 7 16 18 -2 22

Mushowani 19 5 5 9 20 25 -5 20

Harare City 19 5 4 10 18 24 -6 19

TelOne FC 19 2 11 6 14 20 -6 17

Yadah 18 3 7 8 12 22 -10 16

Bulawayo Chiefs 18 3 5 10 14 29 -15 14

— @innocentskizoe

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