All attention in the Northern Region Soccer League is on log leaders Simba Bhora who needs two wins in the last three matches to clinch the league title but there is intense fight for top four finish among the other clubs.
Five teams, Commando Bullets, Black Mambas, Ngezi Platinum Stars U19, Trojan Stars and Chegutu Pirates Pirates all have a chance to finish fourth behind Golden Eagles who have an unassailable ten point gap on third position.
Commando Bullets hosts Golden Eagles at Commando Barracks with coach Nqobile Mafu hoping for three points to leapfrog Black Mambas into fourth position and ward off challenge from the other teams.
“We are gunning for a win, nothing short of that. We want to finish in the top four and cap a fine season for ourselves. This will also give us something to build on going into next year. So we need to finish off on a high collecting all the points in the remaining fixtures,” Mafu said.
Trojan Stars have a date against title chasing Herentals U20 who would be looking for a win to wrestle the title away from Simba Bhora. Trojan Stars coach Webster Chingodza who took over from Ralph Kawondera recently is braced up for the Herentals U20 challenge as he also hopes to convince the hierarchy at Trojan Stars that he is the right man for the job going into next season with a tremendous finish to the current campaign.
“Right now we want to win all the remaining matches and see how it goes but we are also aiming for a top four finish. We want to avoid a defeat at all costs. We won against Come Again, Chinhoyi Stars and drew against Cam & Motor in the last three games so now we are hoping for three wins in the last three matches,” Chingodza said.
Sixth positioned Ngezi Platinum Stars U19 are away to Golden Valley at Rimuka stadium on Friday while Chegutu Pirates play CUMA Academy at Rimuka stadium.
Chegutu Pirates coach Richard Chunga bemoaned lack of funding for his side’s slide in the past games and believes that his team could have been fighting for honours had they had better funding.
“We belong to the top not where we are at. Our rhythm got affected when our benefactor Columbus Makumbe got involved in an accident and there was nobody to motivate the players during the time that he was not feeling well. Now that he is fit and helping the team, we are starting to grind results. We just want to finish among the best teams which is befitting of a team of Chegutu Pirates’ stature,” Chunga said.
Log leaders Simba Bhora are away to relegation threatened Harare City Cubs at Rufaro stadium on Saturday knowing that a win will put them a step closer to winning the championship but a drop in points with aid Herentals U20’s cause. Simba Bhora have been in top form since July and would be looking to continue with the momentum as they also have date against Golden Eagles in the Axis Super 8 Cup Final at the end of the season.
There is also an intense fight for survival at the bottom as PAM FC, Golden Valley, Come Again, CUMA Academy and Banket United are all in danger of being relegated.
Banket United who have been on a resurgence since the coming in of Kawondera as technical director will be aiming another win as they take on Karoi United away at Chikangwe stadium.
Kawondera said they are hoping to build on their momentum: “We are on a good run of late and we want to continue with that against Karoi United. It’s not going to be easy because it’s a derby so we are preparing hard for the match. The attitude shown by the players is very motivating and it gives me confidence going into the remaining fixtures of the season.”
Come Again clash against Cam & Motor in a Kadoma derby knowing that a slip up will spell doom for them while PAM FC would also need a win to help them consolidate their stay in the league when they travel to Chinhoyi for a date against Chinhoyi Stars at Chinhoyi stadium. – NRSL Times
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