The week ending 15 April 2012 was a very good week for Zimbabwean soccer players plying their trade in Europe, as some celebrated club victories, and others were as lucky as seeing their clubs promoted, while those whose clubs have struggled since the beginning of the season have steered clear of relegation zones.
Today we will break alphabetical order rules and beginning with exciting news from England.
Warriors hopeful Bradley Pritchard celebrated promotion to the n-power Championship after his club Charlton Athletics beat 7th placed Carlisle United 1-0 away from home. That was a fantastic result and milestone for Harare-born Pritchard, who was only playing amateur football last year, and crossed about four leagues to play in League One. When the new season (2012/2013) begins in August, the Zimbabwean will be playing in England's second tier league. Charlton are not League One champions as yet, and they still need to win probably one of two of the three remaining matches to make sure of the title.
Still in England, high-riding Onismor Bhasera's League Two side Plymouth Argyle, who have had their fair share of financial troubles in the past two seasons, had their recent great form checked by run-away leaders Swindon Town who beat them 1-0 at home. Plymouth however remain in 21st position with 44 points and do not look like they are in danger of being relegated at the end of the season with 4 games remaining. Bhasera played the entire match on Saturday.
As the season nears the end, Jupiler League teams are currently involved in play-offs, and the competitions are done in groups. One group (Play-Offs I), comprising the top six teams, competes for the title, and qualification for a UEFA Champions League automatic slot as well as Champions League qualifiers.
Vusa Nyoni and his Germinal Beerschot club are in Plays Offs II who will not qualify for the title anymore or the European competitions. The good thing though is that Beerchot are not fighting relegation . Beerchot lost their second Play-Offs II match when going down 0-2 to Zulte-Waregem away from home on Saturday. Nyoni's club currently occupies 3rd position in a four-team Group B.
In Cyprus, Division One teams are nearing the end of the season and competing in selected groups just like in Belgium. Noel Kaseke's Omonia Nicosia, defending champions are in danger of losing their title to either AEL or APOEL as they lie 3rd on the play-offs log after two successive play-offs losses. On the contrary AEL and APOEL have been picking up vital points at the crucial stage of the title race. Kaseke played in the two respective 1-2 and 2-0 losses to APOEL and AEL.
Edward Masinwa's Ethnikos Achna are currently on top of the Relegation Group after winning one and drawing the other of their group games thus far. On Saturday, they drew 1-1 with Aris after beating Enosis 2-1 away from home on 1 April. Masinwa was taken off after 60 minutes in both matches. The striker has gradually cemented his position in the starting eleven towards the end of the season.
Quincy Antipas' SonderjyskE has been in terrific form of late, dropping only 2 points from a possible 15 points in the last 5 games. On Sunday they showed a ruthlessness in front of goal, dispatching home team Lyngby 4-0 to ease into 8th position, after dropping into relegation zone a few weeks ago. Antipas has not been scoring many goals, but he is considered a very important member of the squad.
Ovidy Karuru, a regular at US Bolougne, is facing relegation with his team in France's Ligue 2. On Friday, Bolougne drew 0-0 with Le Havre and still remains second from the bottom.
Knowledge Musona's Hoffenheim is another European team currently breathing fire after a terrible slump in form during the beginning of the second half of the Bundesliga season. Now Hoffenheim have gone five matches without a loss, winning three matches including a 4-0 mauling of Hamburger SV and drawing two. On Sunday, Hoffenheim drew 0-0 away at Freiburg. While Musona, who is now playing as an attacking midfielder, was an unused substitute on Sunday, he did take part as a second half substitute on the 11th April's 4-0 victory at home.
Dickson Choto played for the entire 90 minutes as Ekstraklasa log leaders Legia Warsaw drew 1-1 away from home against Widzew Lodz on Saturday. Legia lead log standings with 69 points with four matches left to play. Their closest rivals Slask Wroclaw are in hot pursuit with 66 points.
Big striker Mike Temwanjira's FC Vaslui beat Mioveni 3-0 at home but remain 5th placed. Temwanjira appears to remain a key striker Vaslui despite not having scored in amny mnths. His importance to the team appears to be creating chances for the likes of Brazillian Wesley to score.