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Premiership: Last four to the wire in championship fight


Top of the table and right of first refusal ... Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas

03/11/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
Spoilsport ... Harare City coach Taurai Mangwiro
 
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Humbled DeMbare face Caps United

WITH just four Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches to play before the champions are crowned, it’s all for leaders Chicken Inn to lose and second placed FC Platinum to take.

Sadly for both teams, they, once again, have to clear Taurai Mangwiro and his gang of recently crowned Chibuku Super Cup merry men, Harare City.

Chicken Inn lead the table with 53 points and next up is a trip to Gweru against relegation threatened Whawha that they cannot afford to lose.

Mathematically, the Gamecocks need nine points from a possible 12 to lift their maiden league title and earn a ticket to the Caf Champions League as they will reach an unassailable 62 points while the highest that Platinum can reach if they will all their remaining fixtures is 61.

This can be reduced if results go in Chicken Inn’s favour elsewhere in matches involving FC Platinum and Dynamos, especially this weekend.

The matrix will be simpler for Joey Antipas’ men if they win and Platinum, on 49, fail to beat Harare City at Mandava.

Chicken Inn have only been in the league for five years, but have never played in Africa, save for Antipas who took Motor Action in 2011 while the likes of Clemence Matawu have played in Europe and skipper Danny ‘Deco’ Phiri is a Warriors regular.

Goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze is also with the national team as is the duo of Under 23 stars Lawrence Mhlanga and Tafadzwa Kutinyu.

Worse still, Dynamos will be out of the race, unless something dramatic happens, if they cannot beat bitter city rivals Caps United.

Dynamos nearly out of race

After Whawha, Chicken Inn will be at home to struggling Tsholotsho before hosting Harare City at Luveve, and they certainly hope they would have wrapped up proceedings by then.

Second placed Platinum, who are unbeaten since April 10 in 16 matches, can still sneak it if they overcome their biggest hurdle-Harare City in Week 27.


In second place ... FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza

After that match, they are away to tricky Flame Lily, who humbled Triangle 3-0 three weeks back. What makes matters worse for clubs playing against Flame Lily is their bumpy Lafarge Stadium in the high density suburb of Mabvuku.



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Platinum play a short passing game and that ‘potato pitch’ is certainly not suitable for that type of play.

After this, Pure Platinum Play will brace for Caps United at Mandava-a club that has been doing so well away from home this season.

Norman Mapeza’s men will end the season away to Dongo Sawmill in Vengere.

Defending champions Dynamos are on a slippery slope.

They are winless in three matches, having drawn 1-1 against City and Flame Lily before the loss to the municipal side in the Chibuku Super Cup final.

Their confidence is at an all-time low, and frustration was clear in their top strikers Takesure Chinyama and Rodreck Mutuma as they almost manhandled referee Philani Ncube in the cup loss against City.

Coach Tonderayi Ndiraya is certainly not used to this kind of pressure, at this time of the season and cannot expect a swift recovery against Caps United in Week 27.

After that they have a trip to Dongo and return home to face Chapungu, who are chasing a top eight finish this season.

Like Chicken Inn and Platinum, Dynamos will finish their season away from home against Buffaloes at Sakubva.

This means, unless the league winners are crowned in Week 29, the PSL will have serious headaches in having a trophy and medals ready for presentation either at Larfarge, Vengere or Sakubva since all the matches will be played on the same day.





 
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