By Wellington Toni
THE 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League got off to a blistering start on Friday with defending champions FC Platinum once again exhibiting the kind of performance that has handed them the title in the last two seasons.
A total of 22 goals were scored in the opening week.
The Zvishavane based side, fresh from the Caf Champions League, dismissed Harare City 2-1 in the capital on Friday.
But it was Chapungu who stole the show on matchday one, dismantling Bulawayo Chiefs 5-0 at Mandava to set the early pace on Saturday.
Chapungu assistant coach Clemence Mugari said they don’t want to go the route of 2018 where they escaped relegation on the last day.
“We don’t want to be part of the teams that will be involved in the relegation dogfight this season, so its important that we started well,” Mugari told the media in his post match conference.
It was the manner of the destruction at Mandava that set alarm bells at Chiefs, who immediately recalled ex-coach Thulani Sibanda back into their structures as fitness coach.
Club owner Lovemore Sibanda said his team lacked fitness during the match, a rather lame excuse, but it was clear that sports science lecturer and their coach Joseph Sibindi is untested in morden football.
No need to panic, Sibindi might have said after the match but clearly, this was a reality check.
There were wins for Dynamos and Caps United who both recorded 2-0 wins over newly promoted sides Mushowani Stars and Manica Diamonds respectively.
The Harare teams are basically rebuilding and fielded new teams but the two Lloyds-Chigowe and Chitembwe-would be excited at how their charges performed.
Highlanders picked up a vital point against Black Rhinos in the capital which coach Madinda Ndlovu will be happy with given next week’s mammoth assignment at Barbourfields against the Green Machine.
“We are not rebuilding anymore, now its time we start decorating the house. “We want to get into a position where we can begin to compete,” Ndlovu said after the match.
Erol Akbay made a losing return to local football as Ngezi Platinum were edged 2-1 by Triangle- another title contender this season.
There will be no talking about the PSL title race without the mention of Chicken Inn.
While other teams are simply there to make up the numbers and stay atop, Gamecocks coach Joey Antipas has made it clear he wants the league title.
And in dispatching ZPC Kariba 3-1 on Saturday at Luveve, the early signs are clear.
They have gone heavily into the transfer market to try and recapture the title they last won in 2015, with a return to playing in the Caf Champions League again key in their plans.