Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Premiership side Bulawayo City ensured that the Southern Region Division One Soccer League title race goes to the wire after handing leaders Talen Vision their first defeat of the season.
City’s midfielder Melikhaya Ncube struck the priceless goal that ended Vision’s 22-game unbeaten run in an exciting encounter played at Luveve Stadium and officiated by topflight referee Allan Bhasvi who had a good day at office.
The victory for City over 10-man Vision, took the former Premiership side points tally to 49, three behind the leaders who have played a game more – 23 matches.
Vision who played the better part of the match without defender Douglas Sibanda who failed to control his temper and was red carded in the 27th minute for foul language towards a spectator, are not losing hope and have declared they will fight on.
At the time Sibanda was sent off, Vision were all over City but failing to find the back of the net.
“We’re still fighting on with favourites Bulawayo City,” said Vision on their official Facebook page.
Mkhuphali Masuku, Vision’s coach believes the race is still open and remains optimistic that they will bounce back from the City defeat.
“We still have a lot of games to play so we are not worried. This is a race, it’s a marathon we will see who gets to the finish line first on the last game of the season,” Masuku said.
City went into the Vision game trailing by six points, knowing that a defeat to the leaders would have dented their championship hopes.
Despite their victory, City coach Try Ncube remains modest, insisting that Vision remain favourites.
“The title race has now been opened and that’s the nature of the game. We played against a very good side and I must commend my players for giving a good fight. Like I always say, all our games are like finals, we’ll fight to the wire. In my own view, Vision are still favourites because we’re playing catch-up,” said Ncube.
At the tail-end, log anchors Mosi Rovers stunned mid-table Indlovu Iyanyathela 1-0 at Bulawayo’s Khumalo Barracks courtesy of an Andrew Ndlovu strike.
Time is running out for the Victoria Falls side to get out of the relegation hell-hole. Rovers are on 17 points after 22 games, four points adrift of safety.
Meanwhile, Casmyn and Ajax Hotspurs clash tomorrow at Turk Mine after Saturday’s fixture was cancelled, as the latter arrived late for the encounter. Ajax are said to have had a breakdown on their way to Turk Mine.
Friday: Bulawayo City 1-0 Talen Vision, Bosso 90 3-1 Binga Pirates
Saturday: Toronto 0-0 Arenel Movers, CIWU 3-1 Motomoto, Makomo v Mainline (postponed), Indlovu Iyanyathela 0-1 Mosi Rovers. -ZililoR