HWANGE are good for a return to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League after they opened a four-point lead at the weekend following their 3-1 win over Zim Leopards in a Zifa Southern Region Soccer League at the weekend.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The coal miners continued with their fine run without veteran striker Gilbert Zulu, the leading scorer in the league, as he was suspended and got their goals through Courage Sibanda, Mustaf Ncube and Innocent Ndlovu.
Zim Leopards got their face saver from Tambudzai Ngulube.
Hwange were booted out of the top league on the last day last year after they lost to ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium in November and they re-called coach Nation Dube for their Division One campaign this year, severing ties with Bigboy Mawiwi.
They have won eight of their 13 games with four draws and only one defeat and Saturday’s win took them to 28 points.
Dube yesterday would not be drawn into saying much about returning to the Premiership, but said the trick will be to win every game at hand.
“We are pushing and trying to see what will happen at the end. We are taking each game as it comes. I don’t want to put myself and the boys under pressure, but we will just try to win every game and will talk about promotion at the end of the season,” he said.
After relegation last year, the coal miners lost most of their players and recruited from their Division Two side and other local teams in the coal mining town.
They retained Zulu, captain Gerald Ndlovu, Obert Moyo, Craven Banda, Andrew Chuma and goalkeeper Tymon Mvula from last year’s team.
Their neighbours, ZPC Hwange, beat Victoria-based Mosi Rovers 1-0 in Hwange on Saturday to ride over Tsholotsho and claim the second spot with 24 points.
Tsholotsho, also relegated from the Premier Soccer League last year, played a goalless draw against Talen Vision and dropped to position three also with 24 points.
In other matches, Highlanders’ developmental side Bosso 90 beat NRZ Tigers 2-0 in Dete, while the Rahman Gumbo-coached Makomo also beat Division One debutants Mainline 2-0 in Hwange.
Indlovu Iyanyathela drew 1-1 with CIWU with Casmyn adding onto Toronto’s woes with a 2-1 win.
League anchors ZRP Bulawayo drew 1-1 with Moto Moto.