FORMER Premiership sides Chiredzi and Shabanie Mine FC started their 2015 campaign in the Eastern and Central Region Division One Football League with 1-0 wins over Mutare City Rovers and Mvuma Stars respectively.
BY SPORTS REPORTERS
The Lowveld-based side, who were relegated from the top-flight league last season, scored a first half gem of a free-kick through Lawrence Khumbula to silence the few travelling supporters.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Chiredzi FC team manager Energy Zava said they are hoping for a quick Premiership return if they get a sponsor.
“It’s too early to speak about Premiership promotion for us because we are still in the same situation we were last year of not having a sponsor. If we can get a sponsor we can talk of an early return to the Premier league,” he said.
“We have recruited local talent and we have youngsters in our team who are hoping to make their names. We have also have few veterans in our squad and the most notable is Blessing Mazorodze,” he said.
In the Central Region, last season’s runners-up MSU FC failed to utilise home advantage when they were held to a goalless draw by visiting Sable Chemicals FC.
ZPC Munyati were also held to a scoreless draw by Gweru United at Mbizo Stadium.
FC Platinum U19 made the most of territorial advantage to dispatch Tongogara 1-0, ZETDC FC also dispatched Silo United FC by an identical 1-0 score line.
Vumbachikwe also got their campaign off to a flyer with a 2-1 away win over ZRP Beitbridge. Border Strikers meanwhile played a 1-1 stalemate away to Blanket Mine.
In the Southern Region Soccer League matches played at the weekend, coaches in the league have predicted stiff competition this year for the sole ticket to the Premier Soccer League next season.
Bulawayo Chiefs, Ntabazinduna Prison, newly-promoted Bulawayo City and ZPC Hwange are all on seven points after the first three matches.
Chiefs have played two wins and a draw and returning coach Thulani Sibanda, who says his target, is not necessarily to win the championship yesterday indicated that all the teams in the league are playing very well.
After winning their first two matches, the 2013 champions were held to a goalless draw by Nust at Luveve Stadium on Sunday.
“Every team is playing well this year and there are no small teams. As Bulawayo Chiefs we are just playing to develop our youngsters and nothing more,” Sibanda, who returned to the side from Black Mambas, said.
They play army side Indlovu Iyanyathela at HQ1 Brigade in their next outing at the weekend.
Ntabazinduna Prison have also won two times and were on Saturday held 0-0 by new boys Makomo from Hwange in the coalmining town.
Coach Agent Sawu yesterday said: “The competition is good and this is very good for our football. A number of teams have got very good players and the level of competition is very high. We are not in the league to make numbers, but it’s a bit too early to talk about the championship. We have started on a good footing and we should just maintain that form.”
There is not much separating teams in the Zifa Northern Region Division One after two rounds of fixtures with up to eight of them tied on top spot, only separated by goal difference.
It is Ngezi Platinum who are currently positioned at the top of the file, benefiting from their 4-0 victory over weeping boys Zatex in the opening weekend last week.
A lot was expected from the log leaders on Sunday after the first round resounding win, but came stuck at Starbil, playing to a goalless draw in a match that was screened live on ZTV. It was Starbil’s first point of the season after their opening round defeat.