Title race still open: Akbay


HIGHLANDERS head coach Elroy Akbay is not ready to concede the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title to rivals despite seeing his side dropping points in recent matches which saw them losing considerable ground to the pacesetters.



Before their 2-0 win over How Mine at the weekend, Highlanders had not managed maximum points in seven matches, a run which saw them falling eight points behind log leaders FC Platinum.

Akbay’s side is in third position with 35 points while second-placed Caps United have 40 points with nine matches before the season ends.
Ahead of the team’s trip to Border Strikers on Sunday, the Dutchman believes the title race is still wide open, claiming that even a team down in 12th position on the log standings still has a chance to win the title.

“The race is still open for everybody. FC Platinum and Caps United have also been losing in the last few matches. I think the championship is not done yet. Even the club on 12th position and has 27 points, if they win four or five games they can also be on the top,” said the Dutchman.

“That means everybody now can be a champion and that is a good thing because every team is now concentrating on getting a win in every game.”

ZPC Kariba have been the form team after winning their last three matches, including a 1-0 victory over Highlanders a fortnight ago, in a performance by the Electricity Men that left Akbay impressed.

He picks them as one of the favourites to win the championship alongside perennial contenders Dynamos.

“I believe those who will score more goals and defend well have a better chance of winning the championship, whether it is How Mine or Bulawayo City; whoever can score more. We have ZPC Kariba also on 34 points and I have watched them. They have very good players. I was very impressed with the guys. ZPC Kariba are also one of the teams that can win the championship. You never know, it’s not between two teams. Dynamos also have 32 points and the other teams are not very far off,” Akbay said.

FC Platinum top the log standings with 43 points, but had their lead cut following their draw at home to Chicken Inn.

They have what appears a tough match this weekend as they travel to ZPC Kariba tomorrow, looking to recover from the weekend’s blip.
They will need to win this match as any other result would only benefit Caps United, who could move to the top if they beat Triangle on Sunday.

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Fixtures
Tomorrow: Bulawayo City v Mutare City (Barbourfields), ZPC Kariba v FC Platinum (Nyamhunga), How Mine v Tsholotsho (Luveve), Harare City v Ngezi Platinum (Rufaro)

Sunday: Triangle v Caps United (Gibbo), Dynamos v Chapungu (Rufaro), Border Strikers v Highlanders (Dulivhadzimu)