The Chipiku Stores Central Region Football League title race has intensified with eight top teams separated by five points halfway through the season.
Following weekend games, Airborne Rangers lead the pack with 36 points while Holy Cross Ambassadors, with a point adrift, are second while Wimbe United, also with 35 points but an inferior goal difference, lie third.
The leaders, on a weekend most of their title rivals did not play, trounced Dowa United 5-1 on Saturday to consolidate their top spot.
On fourth position there is Dedza Young Soccer Saints with 34 points while Mlatho Mponela FC is fifth with the same number of points, but an inferior goal difference.
Jidi FC is sixth having bagged 32 points while TN Stars and Nsundwe United are seventh and eighth respectively with 31 points each.
Airborne Rangers team manager Patrick Tawanya said they are surprised with the competition but vowed to win the title and, with it, promotion into the Super League.
“I have never seen a tight contest like this season’s. Every team is fighting really hard and that is good for our football. However, we are still optimistic of emerging victorious,” said Tawanya.
The league’s vice-general secretary Antonio Manda said they are pleased with the level of competition saying it signals that football in improving.
“Previously, we used to have scenario where there was a [wide] gap between the top three teams and the rest. But this time around, when we have just started the second round, there are 10 teams still in title contention. This has made our league more exciting,” he said.