NGEZI Platinum Stars coach Takesure Chiragwi has cooled title talk despite his team cutting the gap on league leaders Highlanders to two points after Saturday's convincing home victory over Triangle.
The Mhondoro-based side breezed past the lowveld team as Takunda Benhura, Bruno Mtigo and Qadr Amini netted for a 3-0 romp.
Highlanders were beaten 2-0 by champions FC Platinum on the same day, their first defeat of the current campaign.
Naturally, the title talk flared around Ngezi Platinum Stars after the weekend’s results.
However, Chiragwi played down the significance of his team's win stressing that he is building a team for the future.
He pointed out that winning the Premier league title this season would be a bonus.
“What is important is to build a team that can compete,” Chiragwi said. “Yes we are in a competition, and if the title comes our way we will be happy. But we don't have the target of saying we are chasing the championship, no. That is me being honest with you. We have to keep on playing well and winning games, that is what is important. If you look at this team, we have a lot of youngsters, we need to give them confidence and they have to keep on playing some good football. For me, that is what is very important.”
There are 14 league games remaining in the season, and Chiragwi will be looking to continue piling pressure on Highlanders.
- Stix in winning start
- 10-man ZPC Kariba dodge Bullets
- Rhinos gore Students
- Street mural exposes Zim’s divided society
On a weekend that all the other teams in the top five dropped points, Ngezi Platinum Stars' win carried an added significance. But Chiragwi is focusing on his team only.
“I'm only worried about what Ngezi Platinum is doing. Whatever our opponents do has nothing to do with us. I have to concentrate on my team, I need the boys to improve in every game. We need to keep the consistency and momentum going. We have to be happy with what we have achieved so far.”
Highlanders, who were nine points clear not long ago, had their lead slashed to two points as an own goal by the usually reliable centerback Peter Mudhuwa and a second half strike by Walter Musona handed FC Platinum three points.
Bosso have 41 points while Ngezi Platinum Stars are on 39 points.
Third-placed Manica Diamonds conceded a late equaliser against Herentals to drop two points. The Manicaland-based side, widely considered a dark horse in this year’s title race, are on 36 points, three ahead of Dynamos who were held to a goalless draw by Tonderai Ndiraya's Simba Bhora at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Fifth-placed Chicken Inn, who are on 32 points, were also held to a goalless draw at home by relegation strugglers Cranborne Bullets.
FC Platinum's win saw them moving to sixth position with 30 points, and the defending champions will be looking to kick on from this massive win and string some wins in the remaining matches as they look for an unprecedented fifth consecutive league title.
At the other end of the log table, Black Rhinos recorded their first win in five matches when they beat Bulawayo Chiefs, but they remained bottom of the log with 15 points from 20 matches.
The other three teams in the relegation zone are Cranborne Bullets, Yadah and Sheasham.