Leaders Platinum down Dynamos, Ngezi falter

Zimbabwe supporters cheer on their team EPA/Aaron Ufumeli

In-form midfielder Rodwell Chinyengetere scored his 14th goal of the season to power FC Platinum to a vital 2-0 win over Dynamos to send them five points clear at the summit going into the last five matches of the campaign.

The victory marked an impressive recovery from Norman Mapeza's team, who only on Wednesday had lost 3-1 at fourth-placed Triangle to see their lead over second-placed Ngezi cut to two.

As has often happened over the last few weeks however, it was a reversal of fortunes between the top two on Saturday as Ngezi were stunned 1-0 at struggling Bulawayo City to once again leave Platinum with some breathing space at the top.

Little was guaranteed as Platinum hosted ailing giants Dynamos, who only hours earlier had seen coach Lloyd Mutasa pay the ultimate price for an atrocious run that left the club executive with little option but wield the axe.

Any expectations of a dramatic turnaround on the part of the Harare giants were swiftly extinguished after veteran forward Mkhokheli Dube broke the deadlock inside the opening 10 minutes.

There was no Denver Mukamba up front for Dynamos and creativity was clearly in short supply as they struggled to create any meaningful openings.

And when reigning player of the year Chinyengetere unleashed a rocket into the roof of the goal from the edge of the area on 24 minutes, Dynamos were well and truly on their way to a third defeat in a winless five-match run.

Second-placed Ngezi Platinum complicated life for themselves after a Keith Murera own-goal handed hosts Bulawayo City a priceless 1-0 win, their first in 12 matches.

The result lifted City from the foot of the table while imperilling Ngezi's push for a debut league title.

Tonderai Ndiraya's men, who only on Wednesday had produced a fine display to dispatch CAPS United 2-1, appear to be struggling to cope with the rising pressure of a title race.

Elsewhere, there were no celebrations for Triangle, who came down to earth with a thud following a 3-1 defeat at Black Rhinos.

The sugar cane farmers have largely punched above their weight this term, but they were no match for a Black Rhinos side who have also performed above expectations to stay clear of relegation trouble.

Three first-half goals from Farai Banda, Augustine Mbara and Lot Chiunga were enough to give Rhinos their second win in three matches as they look to cement their position in the top half of the table.

Third-placed Chicken Inn could only manage a goalless draw at Harare City as they failed to make the most of Ngezi's stumble despite creating several good openings.

Traditional giants CAPS United and Highlanders lock horns at the National Sports Stadium in one of five games lined up for Sunday.

Then Yadah host ZPC Kariba in a match that has been scheduled for Monday.