ZPC Kariba… (0) 2
Dynamos… (1) 1
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
ZPC Kariba yesterday completed a Premier Soccer League (PSL) double over Dynamos and shot to a two point cushion at the top as they edged closer to be crowned champions in their maiden top-flight league season.
Veteran forward Limited Chikafa was back to hit again with a goal that separated the two sides, adding to substitute Tsepo Ranthokoane’s equaliser that had cancelled Anesu Gondo’s strike for DeMbare six minutes into the match.
Ending DeMbare’s 17-match unbeaten streak that had stretched for five months, Saul Chaminuka’s men are now on the brink of dethroning the Harare giants as champions with one round of matches remaining to the campaign.
They now stand on the threshold of joining the Black Rhinos class of 1984 that lifted the league title in their debut top-flight football season.
But CAPS United stand in their way on the last day of the campaign, while Dynamos who conclude with How Mine would be pinning hopes on their traditional rivals to beat ZPC Kariba to hand them the title as they did last season.
The power utility side threw the title race into an intriguing contest and now need just a point, leaving Dynamos with no authority over their destiny.
The fashion in which they have been breaking barriers makes Chaminuka’s team convincing that they can spoil it for Dynamos and deny DeMbare coach, Kalisto Pasuwa a personal milestone of bagging four straight league titles.
They have already banished Pasuwa’s record of not losing the last five matches since 2011.
They have posted back-to-back victories over DeMbare, a feat no other team has attained since Blue Rangers managed that in 2011.
But Chaminuka is playing cautious, refusing to get carried away by this prospect of finishing tops.
“We are not champions as yet,” said Chaminuka.
“We still have CAPS United to worry about. It is now very much possible to be champions but also important for us to remain cautious and approach the CAPS match with the right attitude that has carried us to this stage.”
For Pasuwa, it is game on.
“We now have to wait for the final day,” said Pasuwa.
“We still have a chance and we just have to make sure we win our last game. ZPC Kariba were the better side in the second half but I feel we could also have done our part by burying chances that came our way.”
Never mind Pasuwa’s repeated face wash with water from a bottle that seemed conveniently placed on the left side of his seat yesterday, or the urine-like substances sprinkled on the ZPC Kariba technical bench at half time, the power utility team were simply steely.
Dynamos threatened to run amok when Gondo thrust them into an early lead, heading in Masimba Mambare’s cross.
It was an immense contribution by Gondo who was injured in that raid and immediately substituted for Roderick Mutuma.
ZPC Kariba almost clawed their way back seven minutes later as Pride Tafirenyika’s close headed effort was repulsed by Tatenda Mukuruva.
Mutuma, a culprit of fluffing golden chances, had his header brilliantly tipped over the bar by Tonderai Mateyaunga on 20 minutes.
It took a half-time pep talk by Chaminuka that inspired his side as 13 minutes after the restart, Ranthokoane’s seemingly harmless cross fooled Mukuruva for the equaliser.
The goal appeared to have added a spring into ZPC Kariba’s step with dominant play but Mateyaunga acrobatically thwarted Simba Sithole’s headed attempt before Mutuma headed wide facing an empty goal.
Chikafa then sealed matters 21 with minutes to go to claim victory for ZPC Kariba.