Zim PSL 2023 Matchday 14 Review: Bosso Stretch Unbeaten Streak To 14, CAPS Woes Continue, Ngezi Platinum Drop Two Points

Tawanda Chari & Takudzwa Hillary Chiwanza 

Zimbabwe Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Results, Matchday 14

Green Fuel 1-1 Chicken Inn, Hwange 2-1 ZPC Kariba, Highlanders 1-0 Triangle United, Sheasham 0-0 Ngezi Platinum, Simba Bhora 0-0 Manica Diamonds, Bulawayo Chiefs 2-1 Caps United, Dynamos 0-0 FC Platinum, Yadah 0-2 Black Rhinos, Cranborne Bullets 0-2 Herentals

Highlanders go top of Zim Castle Lager PSL log leaders
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In Matchday 14 of the Zimbabwe Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, Highlanders stretched their unbeaten run to 14 games following their 1-0 win over Triangle United on Saturday. Bosso now sit top of the league standings with 28 points; only one point ahead of Ngezi. The Mhondoro-based side has 27 points. 

Highlanders soared to victory courtesy of creative and hard-earned goal by Andrew Mbeba in the 62nd minute. 

CAPS United suffered a third successive loss at the hands of Bulawayo Chiefs away from home. The Green Machine lost 2-1 to Bulawayo Chiefs on Saturday to funk further down in the league.

Obriel Chirinda scored from a rebound to put Chiefs ahead for the home side two minutes after halftime before getting his brace in the 63rd minute. 

CAPS United also finished the encounter with 10 men after Blessing Sarupinda was sent off in the first half.

Chitembwe pointed out recusant application plummeting the team’s morale. He seemed to have given up and, unsurprisingly, the team has given up as well.

However, a manager is only as good as the players he has and perhaps the Green Machine’s squad building may not have been properly thought through.

Elsewhere, Ngezi Platinum Stars slumped to second place following their goalless draw against Sheasham at Bata Stadium, and are now a point behind new league leaders Highlanders who are on a 14 game unbeaten run.

Chicken Inn drew 1-1 against Green Fuel, while Simba Bhora and Manica Diamonds played goalless draws.

Hwange beat 10-men ZPC Kariba 2-1 via a Solomon Sithole goal and a 70th minute strike from Gahadzikwa. ZPC’s Leeroy Murape was sent off after 30 minutes.

But, back to the beleaguered Lloyd Chitembwe, who probably has “greener blood” than everyone else who devotes their loyalty to the Green Machine.

His sentiments are acutely bereft of any iota of confidence.

And one can only sympathize with his grave predicament.

Especially at a time when Makepekepe are fast becoming a mere shadow of their illustrious glory.

Three successive losses for a big team like CAPS has, by all accounts, transcended being a “rough patch”.

It signifies something way deep. Like, deeper than deep. 

And as such one cannot fault Chitembwe for contemplating [an unceremonious] departure.

Without indulging in any prevarications typical of coaches when addressing the press, Chitembwe poignantly remarked:

You know, I have been in football for a while particularly at CAPS, both as a player and a coach. There are certain team dynamics that really need to be managed for the team to achieve greatness. In this case it’s very disappointing when some people are putting effort, but other people are bringing negative energy. I’ve done enough but if it’s not good enough there’s no point to continue.

The major question(s) lingering over Zimbabwean football at the moment – with the utmost and unrivalled primacy – ultimately boil down to this: Will Lloyd Chitembwe throw in the towel at such a critical time of his long-duree career?

Or, will he muster gargantuan tenacity of epic proportions – almost like Sisyphus – to survive such an immensely tumultuous period?

Will the players and the rest of management rally in his corner to save his green blood? Will the Green Machine reclaim its well-decorated and rich footballing cultural heritage and glory?

Will Chitembwe’s departure, in such bitter circumstances, redeem the club from its perennial woes – troubles that have uncannily become custom season after season? Or the problems are deeper than what meets the eye?

But, as has been alluded to above, a coach can only be as good as his players. The leader is the mirror of the entire team.

And we cite this tweet from Lawrence Mangenje, a sports journalist, with noteworthy particularity: 

In an ironic twist of fate, Makepekepe yashaisa Chitembwe mufaro. The shrewd tactician —who probably bleeds green more than anyone else in the green half of the city, is —for the second time in his glittering coaching career — contemplating leaving CAPS United.

We are pretty sure even the worst of CAPS’ foes are sympathizing with them and hoping for more competitive football displays from one of Zimbabwe’s best football clubs.

And, since CAPS are now playing home games at Barbourfields in Bulawayo, hundreds of kilometres away from their traditional fortress and support base, it is a difficult task to attempt forecasting any restoration of confidence.

Meanwhile, Highlanders and Ngezi Platinum Stars will seek to cement their current brilliant form as leaders of the Zimbabwe Castle Lager Premier Soccer League table – fans of the former are obviously hopeful, reasonably so, that perhaps this may be their season to clinch Zimbabwe’s top-flight football title.

But it is still too early to delve into such deliberations, especially for teams currently separated by a single point only.

One can hazard to say that this season’s title race of the Zimbabwe PSL will definitely be a nail-biting and nerve-wracking one.

We may run the risk of getting ahead of ourselves too much on this one – it is early to determine final outcomes. But sketchy forecasts are certainly not prohibited.

Our biggest takeaway from this ZIM PSL Matchday, summing up our review, is a simple one: We are happy that domestic football action in Zimbabwe is back again. And this time, mid-season interruptions need to be a relic of the past.

We’re also quite optimistic – tenuously though – that the stadium malaise haunting Zimbabwean football will be fixed with sufficient satisfaction.

Below is the latest Zimbabwe Castle Lager Premiership log table/standings as at Matchday 14:

Zim Castle Lager PSL latest log standings
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