ZIFA Southern Region Division One log leaders Bulawayo Chiefs suffered their fourth league defeat of the season on Saturday, losing 1-0 to ZPC Hwange in the coal mining town, making the race for the southern ticket to next year’s Castle Lager Premiership more exciting in the second half of the season.
Chiefs, under the tutelage of technical director former Warriors gaffer Rahman Gumbo who took over from Thulani Sibanda, had always remained hot favourites for promotion after going on a series of wins in the league before starting to lose games.
Their first loss was suffered at the hands of second-placed Black Boots in a 0-2 score line at Luveve before losing to Tsholotsho FC 0-1 in rural Tsholotsho.
Former premiership side Quelaton then beat them 2-0 in front of their home crowd at Dingumuzi in Plumtree in a midweek game.
Black Boots, Tsholotsho FC and Quelaton are the three clubs that are closely trailing Chiefs in the league with 13 matches to go before the end of the season.
Chiefs remain at the top with 37 points from 17 matches with police side Black Boots and Tsholotsho FC
chasing hard on 32 points apiece.
Black Boots, on the second spot, missed on a chance to narrow the gap to three points after they shared the spoils with determined new Division One outfit Technosphere in a 2-2 draw in Hwange on Saturday.
Blacks Boots are now on 32 points after the draw, square with dark horses Tsholotsho FC who dismissed Quelaton 2-1 at home.
Technosphere are now at par with fifth-placed Quelaton on 28 points after holding Black Boots.
Zimbabwe Saints, now coached by former Highlanders juniors mentor Mark Mathe, made a steady rise to position four on the log table after beating Ajax Hotspurs 2-0 at Luveve Stadium on Saturday, dislodging Quelaton, Technosphere and New West City.
New West City are now on 27 points after they played a goalless draw with Ntabazinduna Prison at Portuguese Club on Saturday.
Former Premiership outfit Bantu Rovers could be getting three points on a 3-0 score line after Victoria Falls-based
Mkhosana arrived late for their match at Luveve.
Hwange Juniors beat troubled soldiers Bulawayo Jumbos 2-0 in Hwange.