Newcomers Bulawayo Chiefs stun Platinum as Ngezi reclaim top spot

Football



Top-flight newcomers Bulawayo Chiefs caused the biggest upset of the season so far after thumping champions FC Platinum 2-0 on matchday 7 in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League on Saturday.

There would have been absolutely no hint of what was to come as champions FC Platinum made the trip to Bulawayo on the back of a six match unbeaten run which had taken them to top of the standings.

The Zvishavane-based Miners had particularly impressed in the 3-1 win over Harare City last weekend, and stand-in coach Lizwe Sweswe would have been entirely justified to anticipate another routine win against the novices.

Chiefs had managed just one win in six going into the contest against the league’s richest club, but they showed little respect for the formbook from the off, racing to a 2-0 lead by the break and never looking back.

Captain Kundishora Chakanyuka and Moses Majika were on the scoresheet for the home side, with the latter’s free kick from the edge of the box coming right at the end of the first-half to further deflate Platinum.

The win enabled Chiefs to move four places up the standings into ninth, displacing army side Black Rhinos who could only manage a goalless draw against Harare City at Rufaro Stadium.

Defeat on the other hand turned out to be a double blow for Platinum, who had gone into the weekend tied on 16 points with Ngezi.

Tonderai Ndiraya’s men took full advantage of Platinum’s slip to open up a three point lead at the top with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Mutare City, another newly promoted side.

Unbeaten Ngezi took the lead through an own goal by Mutare City’s Takunda Jeffrey on eight minutes, but Mutare responded swiftly with David Mangezi levelling matters four minutes later.

The visitors went on to give a good account of themselves throughout, only to endure some last-minute heartache as midfielder Xolani Moyo headed home a Terence Dzukamanja corner to secure a sixth win in seven matches for Ngezi.

A revitalised Triangle United meanwhile needed two late goals to register a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Bulawayo City.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for Triangle, who started the season on a low note after collecting one point from their first three matches but have since registered four straight wins to rise into fourth.

Timothy January had put Bulawayo City ahead just before the break, but Kudzai Chigwida equalised late on before veteran Courage Dennias netted the winner with two minutes to go.

In Kariba, Wellington Kamudyariwa was the hero for 2015 champions Chicken Inn as they salvaged a 1-1 draw against bottom club ZPC Kariba.

The home side had taken a shock second minute lead through Moses Demera and faltering Chicken Inn struggled to get to grips with proceedings until Kamudyariwa rescued them late on.



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