FORMER Dynamos and Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa has showered praise on high flying Ngezi Platinum for their consistency in the league race, but warned them against complacency in their championship bid.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Last season, the Mhondoro side was one of the favourites to land the crown after a good start, but ran out of steam towards the end, culminating in FC Platinum claiming the title by beating Dynamos to the finishing line on the last day of the league programme.
This term, Tonderai Ndiraya’s men have displayed a lion-hearted show which has seen them go on an incredible 11-match unbeaten run. Pasuwa, who led Dynamos to an unprecedented four successive titles between 2011 and 2014, hailed Ngezi Platinum for the way they have gone about their business thus far.
He said the well-resourced teams stood a good chance in the race.
Pasuwa was though quick to remind them about the dangers of complacency, citing army side Black Rhinos, who had a stormy start to the season, but ended up fighting relegation after struggling to maintain form in the second half of the season.
“It’s certainly going to be a tough one considering most teams are well funded. If you look at the two Platinums, Chicken Inn and Triangle, they are all stable and the coming in of NetOne to sponsor Dynamos, Highlanders and Caps United makes things a lot better for them. On the field of play, Ngezi Platinum is setting the pace while FC Platinum is also doing well just as Highlanders and Chicken Inn, but it’s still early to say this and that team is going to come out tops at the end of the season, you will never know what will happen in the second half of the season,” Pasuwa said.
The former Dynamos coach challenged Ngezi Platinum to be consistent in the second half. “Look at Black Rhinos last season, they were fighting relegation. What will be more important for teams like Ngezi Platinum, FC Platinum and Highlanders is consistency, without that, what we are seeing now on the table will not count. There maybe heartbreaks and surprises but for now it’s well done Ngezi, keep fighting and improving until you hit the line,” he added
Ngezi Platinum is the only team that remains unbeaten after 11 matches of the campaign having drawn just twice against ZPC Kariba and Shabanie Mine and top the table with 29 points, while FC Platinum and Highlanders are second and third with 26 and 21 points respectively.
Ndiraya’s men have already passed a tough examination against the traditional giants where they have collected maximum points against Dynamos (1-0), Highlanders (1-0) before edging Caps United 2-1 at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday, the first time for them to beat the Green Machine since their promotion into the top flight league.
It however, remains to be seen if Ndiraya and his men can go all the way and win the ultimate domestic football prize.