It’s a defining moment in the Premier Soccer League race Sunday.
The two leading teams, Motor Action and Dynamos, started the season with a bang, winning matches and scoring goals for fun, an early indication that they meant business.
Motor Action, after a decade of failed attempts to win the grand title, won their first five games and scored a massive 13 goals in the process, making their title ambitions known.
Dynamos on the other hand were just flying, enjoying an eight-game winning streak before they were brought to a screeching halt by none other than their title rivals Motor Action in July at Rufaro Stadium.
However, surprising results started to crop up as the two leading teams continued their quest. It was the Mighty Bulls who were relatively stable between the two.
They dispatched teams with brutal effectiveness, winning 19 out of 29 games and topping the league from week three to today.
Dynamos, probably because of their involvement in the Caf Champions League, started to stutter and calls for coach Elvis Chiweshe to resign started to ring louder, further unsettling the team.
Chiweshe however managed to hold on and steered his ship back to winning ways, culminating in tomorrow’s crunch finale. Motor Action are currently at the top of the log with 63 points, but by virtue of a superior goal difference.
If it was not for a few freaky results and a surprise defeat to Douglas Warriors and Eagles, they could have won the league a few weeks ago.
Going into tomorrow’s big clash Motor Action are in the driving seat, knowing that with just a win they will be crowned 2010 league champions is enough motivation for their players.
Another motivating factor for the Mighty Bulls is that they are playing their last match at their favourite hunting ground, Motor Action Sports Club, a venue in which they have not lost a game the whole of this season.
They have dropped only three points at home.
As for Dynamos, they received a big boost through the return of their talisman, Benjamin Marere, who missed the BancABC Sup8r cup final last Saturday.
Dynamos are also coming into the fixture buoyed by their third win in a knockout competition this season, the BancABC Sup8r Cup.
The Harare giants are looking to sweep all the silverware on offer this season — enough motivation for the players.
But what makes tomorrow’s clash super is the fact that while the top two teams will be fighting for supremacy, their opponents, Black Mambas and Lengthens, are fighting for dear life.
Well-sponsored Mambas, on 29 points and fifth from the bottom of the log, lock horns with Dynamos at Morris Depot and a win will see them escape the dreaded chop from top-flight football. Lengthens, on the other hand, have had a season to forget.
The Happy People have been plagued by financial woes that have threatened their survival in the league. To survive this horror season, coach Jostein Mathuthu has to perform a miracle.
Languishing at the relegation cut-off point with 29 points and an -8 inferior goal difference to Mambas, Lengthens have a mammoth task.
Tomorrow’s clashes not only provides a healthy diversion for neutrals who have for the past 17 years watched the title being decided with a handful of games to play but also offers gut-wrenching intrigue for the four teams involved.
. . . as fans tip Motor Action for league title
Most soccer fans in Bulawayo have tipped Motor Action to clinch the 2010 Premier Soccer League (PSL).
The Mighty Bulls play Lengthens at home tomorrow while another title-chaser, Dynamos, face Black Mambas at Morris Depot.
In a survey conducted by NewsDay yesterday, a majority of soccer lovers in the City of Kings and Queens said the Mighty Bulls would lift the silverware of the unbranded league.
Pepukai Manjeru, a Dynamos fan, said Motor Action will win the championship come Sunday.
“I am a Dynamos supporter but I feel Motor Action will win the championship as they have been doing very well this season,” said Manjeru.
He said Motor Action stand a better chance of clinching the title. “Motor Action have got an advantage of a superior goal difference and they are facing a weaker side compared to Dynamos,’ he said.
A Highlanders supporter, Collen Musango was also among the fans who said the Eric Rosen-owned side will clinch this year’s title.
“Motor Action have been playing very well. Dynamos has no chance because it was beaten by small teams like Kiglon,” he said. A Caps United fan, Rumbidzai Mashoko, put her money on Motor Action: “From what I have heard, Motor Action will win the championship.
They have been playing very well,” she said.
Another Caps United fan, Godknows Mdhari, also threw his weight behind Motor Action.
“Motor Action will win the championship. They have been very consistent. Dynamos could have won the championship but they lost some of their games to small teams like Kiglon and they also lost to Hwange.”
Simelinkosi Moyo had a different view as she said Dynamos will walk away with the league title.
“Dynamos will win the championship. I know they will take it,” she said. Edson Mutawu, a Dynamos fan, also said his team would win the premiership title.
“Dynamos will take the championship. They are the champions and they have so many records. They are the only team from Zimbabwe to have made it into the final of the African Champions League,” he said.