The Sunday News
FC PLATINUM were crowned Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions for the third season in a row when they defeated Caps United 1-0 at the National Sports Stadium in Harare yesterday.
Perfect Chikwende scored the only goal of the match to seal it for Pure Platinum Play who only needed a draw in their last match while Makepekepe required a win.
FC Platinum finished with 10 players on the field after Zambian Guyve Nsiala was sent off. There was pushing and shoving at the break after a Caps United official was said to have provoked FC Platinum players, with Platinum’s Nsiala shown a red card during the scuffle. This meant that Lizwe Sweswe’s men had to play the remaining 45 minutes with 10-man.
It was, however, not be a handicap for the Zvishavane based side as Chikwende scored and made sure that they are champions again. Caps United, who had an opportunity to win the championship eventually finished on the third spot.
From Barbourfields Stadium, Fungai Muderere reports that Chicken Inn might have missed out on the title but secured second spot with a 4-1 demotion of TelOne. The result meant that Rahman Gumbo’s boys were relegated from the PSL after just one season. TelOne joined Chapungu, Hwange and Mushowani Stars as the teams that have been relegated.
With the news that Zimbabwe could get two more slots in the 2020/2021 Caf inter-club competitions, giving the country four representatives, the Gamecocks will probably be preparing for an African sojourn thanks to the four goals that were scored by Innocent Muchaneka, Valentine Kadonzvo, Gorge Majika and substitute Sipho Ndlovu.
Muchaneka scored from the penalty spot in the second minute. This was after TelOne captain Stephen Phiri had brought down Obriel Chirinda. Kadonzvo made it two for Chicken Inn in the 40th minute with a close-range effort after a beautiful exchange of passes with hard running Chirinda.
A goalkeeping howler in the 86th minute by Raphael Pitisi saw Majika register his name on the score sheet after letting loose a curling free kick with his deadly left foot that reduced Pitisi to a villain.
After making a solo run from the middle of the park, Ndlovu made it four for the Gamecocks two minutes into referee’s optional time.
The Wifi-Boys got their face saver through veteran Jacob Muzokomba who nodded home a well taken Marvelous Chigumira free kick in the sixth minute.
An elated Chicken Inn head coach Joey Antipas said: “I’m happy with the good finish that we had. We came into the match with something to play for and I’m happy that we have finished the season on position two. We had a big chance to win the league and our boys had a good run. Out of 100, we can give ourselves 90 as our score mark.”
A somber atmosphere engulfed the TelOne dressing and Gumbo could not grant the media a post-match interview referring journalists to his assistant Lloyd “Samaita” Mutasa. There was no joy from Mutasa as well as he disappeared into the changing room.
At Luveve Stadium, Dumisani Nsingo writes that jubilant Herentals players were joined by scores of fans who stormed the pitch in celebration of their 1-0 victory against Bulawayo Chiefs which ensured that they survived relegation on the last day and prolonged their stay in the PSL.
The visiting side who arrived late for the match after their bus experienced a breakdown got the all-important goal through the boot of Kelvin Bingala in the 25th minute.