SHURUGWI-BASED outfit Nichrut FC gained promotion into the Premier Soccer League after a nervy 1-0 win over Chrome stars in Kwekwe to win the Central Region Division One title.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
The John Nyikadzino-coached side becomes the first team from the small scenic town to play in the top flight.
They had to withhold their celebrations though after the final whistle, as they waited for results from the match between second placed Tongogara and Ivan Hoe.
But as news filtered in that Tongogara, who needed to win by at least a 10-goal margin to have a chance of overhauling the Nichrut lead, had been held to a 2-2 draw, the celebrations officially started.
Though Chrome appeared to be determined to play party poppers, but Nichrut were in the ascendancy and could not be denied as David Boriwondo’s header on the 70th minute, proved priceless.
The goal came after some goodwork from Asani Nhongo and Farai Vimisayi and while the opponent threw everything at the end, Nichrut held on for the famous win.
Nichrut coach John Nyikadzino, was on cloud nine after his team made history, becoming the first team from Shurugwi to be promoted into topflight football.
“I thank God for giving us a chance to write our own piece of history. It’s because of God’s wisdom that we did it today. The boys played their part and we won by a small but vital margin,” he said.
“We now have a chance to play top-flight football and it’s obviously going to be an uphill task for us but like always we are going to be fighters. It’s our time to shine and bring joy to the community of Shurugwi. The league was very tight and tricky for us, but we all played our part and the Almighty carried the day for us. All the thanks go to the club bosses, who made strenuous efforts to ensure we make ends meet,” Nyikadzino said.
Former premiership side Wha Wha, who needed to win their match and hope for favourable results from the other centres, lost 2-1 to Blanket Mine, to finish third on the log standings.
Nichrut becomes the latest team to win promotion into the league after Bulawayo Chiefs from the Southern Region and Herentals from the Northern Region.
The other slot is reserved for the Eastern Region where log leaders Mutare City looks set to join in the party pretty soon.