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‘Too early for title talk’


New Castle Lager Premier Soccer League boys FC Platinum say it is too early to talk about the championship after storming to the top of the log standings following new coach Rahman Gumbo’s three consecutive victories since joining the club.

Club secretary Phil Muvengwa on Sunday told NewsDay Sport that Gumbo was settling in at the platinum miners after the club has engaged four coaches since the beginning of the season.

At the helm, Gumbo has claimed the scalps of his former club Highlanders with a 2-0 win at new home Mandava Stadium, 1-0 win against Hwange at the Colliery, and on Saturday, the big money spenders beat Kiglon Bird 2-0 in Zvishavane.

“Obviously everyone is happy with the results so far. We are excited, but it would be difficult to talk about the championship yet. We have had four coaches since we started and it has all been about learning and learning. The new coach is settling in,” Muvengwa said.

Assistant coach Philani Mabhena took over after the death of Benjamin Moyo in April and exchanged positions with Patrick Mandizha before Gumbo came in.

Muvengwa however said it was every club’s aspiration to participate in the Caf Africa Champions League and if Platinum won the league in their maiden campaign they would have every reason to celebrate.

“Being in the Champions League is everyone’s aspiration. If we get there, there would be every reason to celebrate,” Muvengwa said.

Platinum beat Kiglon with goals from Thabani Kamusoko and Norman Maroto who have rarely scored at the weekend.

Highlanders put up a dismal display in front of their home crowd at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday and lost a valuable three points to determined Hwange.

Zambian coach Tennant Chilumba’s boys handicapped the Bosso midfield of anchorman Simon Munawa and the attacking Eric Mudzingwa and Arnold “Majaivana” Tshuma, but were however let down by an inaccurate strikeforce which could have banged in more than one goal.

The five midfielders used by Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku in a 4-5-1 formation could not match hard-working scorer Zambian Kennedy Kashema and Nkosana Siwela as they lacked mobility in the middle of the park.

Chicken Inn were also held to a goalless draw by Monomotapa on Saturday at Luveve Stadium after performing below par in the first half.

Monomotapa were the better side in the first stanza piling on pressure with Tendai Samanja and Joseph Mutambiranwa, but were unlucky with the goals upfront.

The home team however turned on the heat in the second half, camping in Monomotapa’s half but could not get the much-needed goals with the match ending in a 0-0 draw.

Log anchors Shooting Stars held Zimbabwe Saints to a 2-2 draw at White City Stadium, with all the goals scored in the first half. Chipo Tsodzo put Chauya Chikwata in the lead with Amon Mdukuti equalising for the Wild Boys.

Striker-turned-defender Abraham Mbaiwa converted a penalty to make it 2-1 for Chikwata and Tinashe Chipunza levelled the scoreline once more and Shooting Stars, fighting relegation, were happy to salvage a point on the road.

Masvingo United, who last week were held to a goalless draw by Chicken Inn at Mucheke Stadium, picked up another point in Harare with a 1-1 draw at reigning champions Motor Action.

Shabanie Mine got a rude awakening when they fell 5-1 to struggling Black Mambas at Morris Depot on Saturday.

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