By Enock Muchinjo
A FOOTBALL writer can be allowed to get carried away when previewing the country’s biggest derby, the type that newspapers across the world have
run under screaming, fanatical headlines such as “A Nation Divided!”
In the Zimbabwe scenario, the same kind of feeling prevails. The epic league match between log leaders Dynamos and defending champions Highlanders at Gwanzura on Sunday will point the direction of the 2007 league title is most likely to go. The fervour with which that situation brings does not come bigger that the one expected at Gwanzura come Sunday.
A win for the visiting Bulawayo giants will see them close the gap at the top to just one point, while for Dynamos, just avoiding defeat will increase their chances of landing the title, with three matches left in the season. Even a draw for Dembare, after winning 2-1 in the reverse fixture in Bulawayo, will see them claim a superior season head-to-head over Bosso.
Dynamos, arguably Zimbabwe’s best supported club, have not won the league title in a decade.
On the pitch, there seem to be nothing to chose between the two tussling sides in squads’ strength. Both have not enjoyed good form in recent matches. Needless to say though, matches of this magnitude rarely hinge on current form, and factors such as who handles the pressure better and who is better motivated, can determine the result.
There is also the chance of individual brilliance deciding matters. For Dynamos, players capable of match-winning exploits include winger Edward Sadomba, diminutive forward Murape Murape, and their ever-improving captain, central midfielder Justice Majabvi.
For Highlanders, adored creative midfielder Johannes Ngodzo, who has recovered from a career-threatening injury, is slowly regaining his confidence and form. If he gets sufficient support from his young brother, the overlapping left-back Zephaniah, and striker Admire Dzukamanja, a good game of football can be in the offing.