HARARE – Ecstacy, agony and huge sighs of relief were the order of the day as the 2017 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) got underway across the country at the weekend.
The first round of fixtures saw a glut of wonderfully taken goals and unexpected results with Chicken Inn registering the biggest win after trouncing returnees Bantu Rovers 5-0 on what was a thrilling opening weekend of the season.
The Gamecocks were in a no-nonsense mood with goals from Innocent Muchaneka, Obadiah Tarumbwa, Tafadzwa Kutinyu and a brace from Ishmael Lawe, reminding Bantu to work harder in the months ahead should they wish to stay in the top flight.
Chicken Inn coach Rahman Gumbo praised his charges for a job well done but was quick to point at the need to remain grounded while maintaining the same enthusiasm and hunger.
“It’s only one game and we wouldn’t want to talk too much,” Gumbo told the Daily News.
“But obviously, it’s a good start for us and it will be important if we maintain the same hunger and momentum going forward.
“If you look at it, we finished strongly last season and it’s important that we maintain that good run.
“The important thing will be for the boys to remain grounded as you know the season is a marathon and we have a long way to go before we can start thinking of celebrating. I’m sure this result will help boost our confidence in our coming assignments.
“It was a good game but we have to be able to continue this way. For me, I keep telling my boys that there is no game that is more important than the other because at the end of the day it’s the same points.”
Although all four newly- promoted sides had a mixed bag of results, the teams did make their presence felt on the opening day of the season, and made it clear that they would be no walkovers in the months ahead.
Yadah FC and Shabanie Mine, emerged the happiest of the newly-promoted sides after they deservedly earned a point apiece in their goalless draws against Harare City and CAPS United respectively.
In fact, Makepekepe were lucky to return to Harare with a point from Maglas Stadium as they were under pressure for long periods during the game.
The Chinda Boys did everything only to be denied by poor finishing and at times CAPS goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda.
CAPS need to put their house in order if they are to retain the league title. For the better part of last week, United players failed to train as they were on industrial action over unpaid bonuses from last season.
If the club loses more preparation time going forward they might pay heavily.
Black Rhinos, the other newly-promoted side were unlucky to lose right at the stroke of full time against Ngezi Platinum Stars on Saturday.
Clive Augusto scored the only goal of the match a minute before fulltime to break the army side’s hearts.