Thrills and spills in PSL opening weekend
The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League 2018 season kicked off at the weekend with the usual thrills, and as expected, a lot of talking points.
Two of the so-called big three — Dynamos and Caps United — stuttered in their opening matches, while Highlanders’ youngsters showed a lot of promise. Champions FC Platinum’s opening match against ZPC Kariba failed to take off at the National Sports Stadium (NSS) on Sunday after the latter failed to pitch up.
The Kariba-based club, who were the “home” side, did not travel to Harare, as they wanted the match to be played at Nyamhunga Stadium, which had not been cleared by the Zifa’s Club Licensing First Instance Body for failing to meet the requirements, according to the club licensing criteria.
The venue was only approved at the weekend, but the PSL had already confirmed the match for the NSS.
ZPC Kariba, in their wisdom or lack of it decided against travelling to the capital, and they are likely to face heavy sanctions for their decision.
According to PSL rules, the match will be awarded to FC Platinum, on a 3-0 scoreline, and ZPC Kariba are likely to attract further punishment from the PSL.
PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare yesterday said they had asked ZPC Kariba to write a report on why they did not pitch up for the match, which they will corroborate with the match officials’ reports before a “formal” decision can be made.
The ZPC Kariba no-show proved to be the only blemish to the otherwise exciting opening weekend of the premier league which provided pleasures and mixed fortunes for the promoted sides.
Dynamos were beaten 1-0 by their bogey side Chicken Inn away in Bulawayo, with Obadiah Tarumbwa scoring the only goal of the match.
A Denver Mukamba and Ronald Chitiyo-less Caps United, despite their huge investment in the transfer window, fired blanks against a stubborn Harare City, while Highlanders led a cast of the Southern Region teams, who made a perfect start to the campaign.
Godfrey Makaruse and Gabriel Nyoni scored for Bosso, as they beat Black Rhinos 2-1, the army side getting the consolation through Lot Chiwunga.
Bulawayo City despatched Chapungu 2-0, with Ishmael Wadi scoring a brace to give new coach Darlington Dodo a good start.
Spencer Masunda scored the memorable goal for newboys Nichrut, who punched above their weight with a 1-0 win over returnees Mutare City, while fellow newcomers Herentals were given a baptism of fire at Ngezi Platinum, losing 2-0.
Walter Mukanga and Keith Murera scored for the team, which finished third last term.
Another new kid on the block, Bulawayo Chiefs, surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Yadah FC.
David Temwanjira was the hero as Shabanie Mine beat Triangle to give the Zvishavane team the much-needed reprieve, following a troubled pre-season in which they lost some of their stars to rivals.