Reigning Soccer Star of the Year and FC Platinum winger Charles Sibanda’s star continues to rise, with the player proving undoubtedly to be coach Rahman Gumbo’s most prized jewel.
The former Motor Action midfielder put up a sterling performance, spiced with a goal, to help his side secure a 2-0 win and complete a double over fellow miners Hwange in a Castle Lager Premiership match played at Mandava Stadium on Sunday.
Sibanda who now boasts nine league goals almost turned the match into a one-man show had it not been for other heroic exploits showcased by Joel Ngodzo and Donald Ngoma, but still, he remained the toast of the afternoon.
It was a brilliant afternoon for Sibanda who turned out to be the chief tormentor of Hwange’s soul, a team he also battered last season with two crucial goals whilst he was still in Motor Action colours.
Blessed with excellent reading of the game and a high level of maturity, the 26-year-old could be playing his best football as he seems to be getting better with each outing.
The slim dreadlocked player’s current form has positioned him in good stead to retain his crown as the country’s best local player, and deservedly, has not gone unnoticed by Warriors coach Norman Mapeza.
But after a series of class acts in this year’s Premierships campaign, he still refuses to view himself as the best player.
“I am improving with each passing game. I know I am playing some good football, but I owe it all to my teammates.
“I do not play alone, but as colleagues we work hard to bring the best out in each other. We are a team, we work as a unit and at the end of the day it is all about teamwork,” said Sibanda.
Sunday’s match saw Gumbo — who is having a roller-coaster ride in the FC Platinum dugout — proving his tactical wizardry over Hwange coach Tennant Chilumba.
Meanwhile, Luke Masomere got off to a fair start in his new job as Shabanie Mine coach when his side held Shooting Stars 1-1 at Sakubva Stadium on Sunday.
Caleb Masocha scored his fourth goal of the season to earn Shabanie a crucial away point and end a turbulent week which almost threatened Shabanie’s preparations for the Mutare game.
Masomere said he was content with the manpower at his disposal after the draw.
“The squad I have is good. I do not think I will be adding any players. The guys just need to have their confidence restored and I think we will start winning matches.
“Definitely we are not going to be relegated. We will work hard to survive,” said Masomere.
Highlanders, nine points shy of FC Platinum, leapt to third spot after edging perennial arch-rivals Zimbabwe Saints 2-0 at Barbourfields.
It was Zimbabwe Saints’ first loss at home.
Chikwata have assembled a new squad and appointed legend Ephraim Chawanda to head the technical team as they fight relegation after buying Eagles’ franchise at the beginning of the season.
They lie in position four from the bottom of the log, two points ahead of Kiglon and assistant coach Admore Sibanda took charge of the team on Sunday in the absence of Chawanda, who returned to his Botswana base last week after appointment to sort out a few things before returning to start duty.
Chicken Inn, who started off the season at a good pace were held to a goalless draw by newly-assembled Masvingo United at Luveve Stadium on Sunday.
They, however, maintained their position on the fifth spot with 25 points, four points behind Dynamos who take on Blue Ribbon tomorrow.
Caps United suffered yet another defeat, going down 3-0 to Monomotapa. Their woes continue to mount after losing last weekend in an ill-tempered match that was eventually awarded to Gunners.