PLUMTREE Chiefs kicked off their Southern Region Division One League championship defence by edging Hwange Under-20 1-0 at Dingumuzi in Plumtree on Saturday.
Chiefs won the title last season, but opted to merge with Bantu Rovers who paid $40 000 as part of the deal and the Tshintsha Guluva’s name is being used in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL).
Former US-based striker Ray Lunga, son to former Highlanders striker Gift Lunga (Sr) scored the all-important goal for Chiefs. Lunga joined Chiefs this season following the merger.
Chiefs are coached by former Quelaton and Bantu Rovers gaffer Thulani Sibanda with Nkosiyazi Ncube and former Bosso defender Anzlom Ndlovu as assistants.
Former Highlanders and Cyprus returnee Thabani Moyo, who also played for How Mine last year, was on target for Blackboots when they lost 1-2 to Ntabazinduna Prison.
Moyo’s goal was, however, not enough to secure them a win as Fidelis Dube’s brace for Ntabazinduna earned the uniformed forces team maximum points.
Former PSL side Quelaton, who are close to a merger with the National University of Science and Technology were held to a 1-1-all draw by Lizwe Sweswe-coached Tsholotsho FC who are this year tipped to be one of the Division One championship title contenders.
Fallen former top-flight side Zimbabwe Saints lost their first match 0-2 to Hwange’s Technosphere.
Zimbabwe Saints, PSL champions in 1988, have become perennial Division One campaigners and were back in 2011 in the PSL after buying the Eagles franchise, but fell back to the lower ranks again.
In another match played at Luveve Stadium, New West City were trounced at home by Victoria Falls side Trumas 1-3.
Mpumalanga overcame Old Nic Mine 1-0 while Portland Cement and Elephant FC, formerly Bulawayo Jumbos, played a goalless draw with ZPC Hwange falling 0-1 to Kabwe Warriors.