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Friday, July 19, 2024
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Ngezi Platinum crowned new Premier Soccer League champions

Story by Anashe Murombedzi

NGEZI Platinum Stars clinched their maiden Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title after beating Simba Bhora 2-1 at Baobab Stadium this Saturday, all with two games to spare.

It is a dream for every club to be accorded that prestige in the top flight and to be recognised as champions.

The Premier Soccer League was renowned for being dominated by the usual giants, Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United but another contender, FC Platinum came in for a challenge as they won four league titles in a row.

The 2023 season had these clubs battling for pride as the traditional giants needed to return to glory while the Pure Platinum was up to defend their title.

Chicken Inn and Manica Diamonds tried to log in for a challenge, but they did not have enough data to sign in.

In came Ngezi Platinum who posed a promising threat, coming from behind as title contenders and leap-frogging every team that participated in the title race.

Since 2016, the Platinum Miners had high hopes of getting the league title one day after taking the Chibuku Super Cup the same year they were promoted in the top-flight league.

This Saturday, painting it all navy, Ngezi Platinum made noise, shaking the whole Mhondoro community as they made it to their maiden title.

Simba Bhora took the lead in the first half through Tinashe Balakasi piling pressure on their hosts.

Needing just three points to lay their hands on the championship, the Platinum miners were rejuvenated into the second half ready to make history.

In the 63rd minute, Ngezi Platinum were awarded a penalty after Simba Chinani cluttered on Takunda Benhura, which was taken by Kudzai Chigwida to level up the match.

Benhura was the hero of the show after giving his side a championship-winning goal just a minute before the whistle was blown, to claim a 2-1 win.

The Premier Soccer League thus shifted to Mhondoro, crowning new faces on the local football scene.

Takesure Chiragwi proved to be the best coach to shine the stars in Ngezi after taking so long as an assistant coach, while at times he stepped up as an interim.

“It was a tough season to be honest, since we started the season it had ups and downs and eventually we managed to win. I would like to thank all the teams that gave us competition, Manica Diamonds, Highlanders, and FC Platinum. Just coming from behind but we showed character and the players we currently have I think help us to achieve, they had the belief since last season when we finished fourth which was good for a start,” said Chiragwi.

In other matches played this Saturday, Sheasham won 2-1 over ZPC Kariba, while Cranborne Bullets shared spoils with Manica Diamonds in a goalless draw.

Matchday 32 continues this Sunday as Dynamos face Chicken Inn at the National Sports Stadium, Highlanders host Herentals at Barbourfields Stadium, while Green Fuel welcome CAPS United at Green Fuel Stadium

Yadah will play against FC Platinum at Baobab Stadium, Hwange take on Black Rhinos at the Colliery Stadium, while Bulawayo Chiefs face Triangle at Luveve Stadium.

Meanwhile, Cranborne Bullets have been relegated from the Premier Soccer League.

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