HARARE – FC Platinum assistant coach Tendai Chikuni said his team was satisfied with a point away to Monomotapa on Saturday, and quite rightly so.
The same though cannot be said of their fellow Castle Premiership leaders before the weekend games, Highlanders, who were shocked 2-1 by PSL debutants How Mine a day later.
So with their two biggest threats in defence of their back-to-back league titles having dropped crucial points, champions Dynamos, with a priceless win against CAPS United in the Harare derby, emerged the biggest winner of the weekend.
That 1-0 win courtesy of Devon Chafa’s first half penalty in a lacklustre derby meant Dynamos are now just three points behind leaders Platinum, and two behind Highlanders, who dropped to second place following the How Mine defeat.
It’s incredible that Dynamos find themselves in such a strong position for a side that started so poorly, drawing their first six games of the season. But they have gone on to win four times, and the fact that they are still unbeaten, the only team to date not to have tasted defeat, has kept them within touching distance of the pacesetters.
One factor which will delight Dynamos is that for once this season lucky appeared to be on their side. Few weeks back, when they just couldn’t stop drawing, that late Tapiwa Kumbuyani header on Sunday which agonisingly crashed against the post would have easily gone in.
As for Platinum, they appear on paper the early favourites to win their maiden title.
There is renewed vigour in the team since Tenant Chilumba took over as head coach at the beginning of the season, and an unmistakable spring in the players’ steps.
Ali Sadiki is a genuine match-winner while Charles Sibanda has rediscovered the kind of form which made him the best player in the country back in 2010.
Platinum have been consistent as well, and their professional approach to the game seems to be at a different level. The trick for Platinum, though, is to keep picking up and points and increase the gap at the top. With the ruthlessness Dynamos have dominated the league in the last two years, they hardly need assistance to continue closing the gap on their rivals.
Same applies to Highlanders.
Bosso are a solid unit, balanced in all departments, but they will be hoping Sunday’s defeat to How Mine, their second of the season, is not sign of cracks beginning to appear in their team.
Coach Kelvin Kaindu was roundly criticised by a section of the club’s fans for his “rotational” approach, and for a team whose fan base is a major driving force, such discord could prove a distraction. Its game on!