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PSL 10th game review

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THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) closed off match day 10 over the weekend with two teams — Highlanders and ZPC Kariba — still unbeaten after the completion of the first third of the 2014 season.

WELLINGTON TONI
SPORTS EDITOR

The Bulawayo giants, who last won the league title under Methembe Ndlovu, top the standings with 20 points and have scored the highest number of goals this season with 19 while conceding the second lowest at six.

From 10 matches they have played, Highlanders, who drew 1-1 with FC Platinum on Sunday at Barbourfields Stadium, have won five and drawn five, dropping 10 points in the title race.

Newly-promoted ZPC, who came off with one point after a 0-0 draw against Bantu Rovers at Luveve Stadium on Friday, have seven draws — 14 points dropped — and three wins and are in position five with 16 points, four off the pace. Dynamos have won the highest number of games at six, drawn once and lost three times by 0-1 scorelines and have 11 dropped points. After their 1-0 win over struggling Triangle at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday — their third 1-0 win in a row — they moved into third place with 19 points.

While the defending champions have been struggling in front of goal, the best they have done is not to lose and the nine points from their last three games have kept them within pace of the leading Highlanders and Hwange.

DeMbare have quality players in the treatment room which includes Tawanda Muparati, Masimba Mambare and Anesu Gondo.

Rodreck Mutuma will be registered on July 1 together with Democratic Republic of Congo striker Fabrice Mbimba.

Hwange are second with 19 points after a 1-1 draw against Chiredzi FC  on Saturday, but have dropped 11 points from four draws and one loss, in the process scoring the second highest number of goals at 17.

How Mine occupy fourth place after their 0-0 draw against an improving Harare City on Saturday in Bulawayo. Philani Ncube’s side have won five, drawn three and lost two matches and have 18 points.

Saturday’s draw was the first game in which the country’s leading scorer Kuda Musharu failed to hit the target. He has eight goals from nine matches having missed one game of the season when he went for trials at South Africa Absa PSL side AmaZulu.

He scored six goals in the Caf Confederation Cup. Perhaps, the biggest surprise of the season is that FC Platinum and Harare City are outside the top eight.

FC Platinum have managed only three wins — their biggest being the 4-0 thumping of Triangle two weeks ago and they are yet to win away this season.

They have drawn four times and lost thrice, leaving them in 10th position with 13 points.

Harare City, disturbed by leadership struggles between former chairman Leslie Gwindi and then secretary Tarisai Kwenda, are languishing in 15th place after just two wins.

City’s Bigboy Mawiwi was named the coach of the year last season, but has failed to  rise to expectations.

City have lost seven times, scored only eight goals, with three of the goals coming from the 3-1 win over Black Rhinos that almost led to the resignation of Arthur Tutani.

Referees
Ruzive Ruzive has been in the spotlight after two decisions. The first was when he awarded a ghost goal to Black Rhinos in their 2-1 win over Chiredzi at Rimuka Stadium in April and the penalty to Dynamos in the 1-0 victory over FC Platinum at the National Sports Stadium (NSS).

But it has been a largely good performance from match officials, although coaches will always have their reservations about “home town” decisions.

SuperSport
SuperSport has made it clear that they want to beat last year’s 53-games tally and have been up and about the whole country so far.
Although, they are yet to cover Hwange at the Colliery and Buffaloes at Sakubva, they have managed to be in Chiredzi, the Midlands — which has three teams — Bulawayo and Harare, bringing the total number of games covered so far to 20.

According to PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele, SuperSport will, this Thursday, cover the Buffaloes-How Mine match at Sakubva before travelling to Harare 24 hours later. On Saturday, they will be at the NSS for the Caps United-Shabanie Mine tie and on Monday will cover the Harare City-Bantu Rovers tie.

Week 12 will bring the biggest match of the first half of the season which will feature Dynamos and Highlanders at the NSS.

Coaches

Moses Chunga on Saturday at Chiredzi FC claimed that he could not work with the Charles Muchatukwa-led executive.

This followed the “disappearance” of $4 000 in gate takings from the Dynamos match and failure by the club’s leadership to pay players their signing-on fees and salaries.

But like his counterpart at Black Rhinos, Arthur Tutani, Chunga made a swift U-turn on Monday saying he was not leaving Chiredzi.
Instead, he said, the media must reveal to him the sources of yesterday’s story that he had quit.

Tutani had lost 1-3 to Harare City and announced his departure after the match, but he was back on the bench on Saturday as Rhinos beat Buffaloes 1-0 at Rimuka.

Fixtures
Week 11: Buffaloes v How Mine, Hwange v Dynamos, Caps United v Shabanie Mine, ZPC Kariba v Chapungu, Chicken Inn v Chiredzi, Harare City v Bantu Rovers, Triangle v Highlanders, FC Platinum v Black Rhinos

Week 12: How Mine v FC Platinum, Bantu Rovers v Buffaloes, Hwange v Chicken Inn, Chiredzi v Caps United, Chapungu v Harare City, Dynamos v Highlanders, Black Rhinos v Triangle, Shabanie Mine v ZPC Kariba

Top scorers (182 goals scored so far)
8 — Kuda Musharu (How Mine)
5 — Evans Rusike (Hwange)
4 — Charles Sibanda (Highlanders), Donald Ngoma, Qadr Amini (both FC Platinum), Tendai Mukambi (Chicken Inn), Tinei Chitora (Triangle), Dominic Chungwa (Caps United)
3 — Munyaradzi Diya, Kuda Mahachi, Ozias Zibande (all Highlanders), Aleck Marime, Eric Chipeta, Rodwell Chinyengetere (Hwange),  Proud Zireni (Bantu Rovers), Calisto Maheya (Chapungu), Godknows Murwira, Daniel Chakupe (Shabanie Mine), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Caps United), Pride Tafirenyika (ZPC Kariba), Lameck Nhamo
(Triangle)

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