By Nigel Matongorere
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas is convinced the Castle Lager Premiership title race is now just a two-horse race between FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Defending champions FC Platinum sit top of the log with 44 points from 18 matches while Ngezi Platinum are in second with 38 points.
Triangle are in third place with 32 points while Antipas’ side dropped to fourth with 31 points following the 1-1 draw with Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
Chicken Inn missed a golden chance to close the gap on the two platinum teams after they both lost their matches last weekend.
FC Platinum’s splendid unbeaten home record at Mandava Stadium which stretched back to 2016 finally came to an end when they lost 1-2 to ZPC Kariba.
Ngezi Platinum are currently in a mess after they lost their fourth match on the trot following a 1-0 defeat to Herentals at the National Spots Stadium.
Antipas believes that the top two teams are just going through a bad patch which will soon end.
This will make it difficult for the rest of the chasing pack to play catch up.
“It’s difficult; if we had picked up maximum points against Dynamos, we could have said we are now forming a pressure group but we gained one point and if you look at the points difference, it’s massive,” the former Warriors assistant coach said.
“The other two teams will definitely start picking up maximum points soon so all we just have to do is play and enjoy our games and try and create pressure on them.”
Antipas was also critical of the way his team played against the Glamour Boys.
The Gamecocks needed a last minute equaliser scored by substitute King Nasama to cancel out Quality Kangadzi’s early second half strike.
“At least we came back and got a point but personally, I wasn’t happy about our performance. We should have performed better,” he said.
“We struggled with our rhythm and the pitch wasn’t really up to scratch; it’s not an excuse but Rufaro is no longer the same pitch that it was before.
“I think we played a bit narrow because we tried to penetrate them through the centre. I thought if we had opened them up a bit which we did when we scored our goal from a cross, we could have got something.
“Lloyd (Mutasa) set up his team nicely especially after they scored that goal. They defended very well and pressed us every time we went into their half.
“All in all, a point on the road is not too bad especially coming up against a good Dynamos side. But it’s only our first game of the second half of the season; we still have lots of work to polish up our act.”
Matches (All 1pm kickoff)
Saturday: Chapungu v Mutare City Rovers (Ascot), Bulawayo City v Harare City (Barbourfields), Yadah FC v FC Platinum (NSS, ZTV), Chicken Inn v Nichrut FC (Luveve), Ngezi Platinum v Triangle (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Black Rhinos (Nyamhunga)
Sunday: CAPS United v Bulawayo Chiefs (NSS, ZTV), Highlanders v Herentals (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Dynamos (Maglas) –DailyNews