Premiership sides ZPC Kariba and Harare City find themselves in the Castle Lager title jigsaw puzzle as the league heads for a tightly contested finish.
By Brian Nkiwane
Harare City, who are no longer in contention for the title and second placed ZPC Kariba, both have a say in which direction the title goes as they are to play all the three teams that are within the title race.
Since taking over from Bigboy Mawiwi at Harare City, Masimba Dinyero has transformed the Sunshine City boys into a formidable side. He took over the reins when the team was struggling during the first half of the league programme.
On the other hand, ZPC Kariba, who are one of the top three, appear unfazed by the situation they find themselves in.
Speaking to Standardsport, one of Soul Chaminuka’s assistants Patson Ndabambi said they have been in such situations before.
“One thing for sure is that we are not going to be intimidated. We have been through these situations on many occasions. With the way that we have been playing, I hope we will come out with good results. We are going to play both Dynamos and CAPS United in the rundown to the wire, but we should remain focused,” Ndabambi said.
He added, “What we need to do is win games for ourselves and stop depending on results from other centres. I however urge Premier Soccer League to have some of these contentious matches played at the same time to avoid match-fixing.”
Harare City coach Masimab Dinyero said even though they are out of the championship race, they still need to win their remaining matches to avoid relegation.
“We are not going to give any favours to anyone. We still need to be sure we are safe from relegation and we would want to finish up there, so there is no room for treating the remaining matches with kid gloves,” said Dinyero.
With the recent results from the league, the battle for the title seems to be taking a different shape.
It was only last week that four teams were in the running for the title, but after the 4-0 drubbing of Bulawayo giants Highlanders by CAPS United, it’s now clear that Bosso are no longer in it, the battle has narrowed to a three horse race.
The remaining fixtures will see defending champions Dynamos taking on Chapungu at home before playing Harare City in a Harare derby.
The Harare giants will then host relegation-troubled Bantu Rovers who will be out to collect maximum points to try and save their sinking ship before taking on ZPC Kariba in a match that could decide the championship destination.
The Glamour Boys will end the season with what looks like one of the trickiest assignments, when they host How Mine. The miners, now under the guidance of Luke Masomere, seem to have no respect for the champions judging from records from their previous meetings.
ZPC Kariba will resume league action with a date against rejuvenated FC Platinum under Norman Mapeza. The platinum miners exhibited beautiful brand of football when they played Harare City in the capital taking the Sunshine Boys to the cleaners with an empathic 2-0 win.
Gwenya Rekuchamhembe will then host Moses Chunga’s Buffaloes that are also fighting relegation before meeting Harare City. They will then host DeMbare in a potential championship decider, as well as wind off the business of the season with a date against another title rival CAPS United.
The Green Machine, who have presented themselves as true title contenders, will resume action against Triangle away in Chiredzi before hosting FC Platinum at home.
The Green Machine will then make a long trip to Mutare for a date against Buffaloes before hosting Harare City in yet another Harare derby expected to spark fireworks.