FOOTBALL fans in and outside the country will have to wait a little bit longer for the epic encounter between Dynamos and Highlanders after the Premier Soccer League (PSL) yesterday postponed the match to the end of this month.
Report by Henry Mhara Sports Reporter
The two giants, neck-and-neck in the title race, were supposed to clash at Rufaro Stadium this weekend in what many had labelled the title decider.
However, PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele yesterday said the match will not take place as expected to pave way for the national Under-17 men’s football team who will be hosting Congo in the second round, first leg qualifier of theAfrican Youth Championships at Rufaro on Sunday.
The Warriors will also be away to Angola for the decisive Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
Next weekend has been set aside for the Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-finals in which Dynamos play Moses Chunga’s Gunners, while Highlanders will be looking for revenge against Monomotapa.
That leaves weekend (October) 27-28 of this month as a possible date for the fixture.
Dynamos, on 58 points, maintained their two-point lead at the top of the log against their nearest rivals with a crucial 2-0 win away in Hwange.
Denver Mukamba and Tawanda Muparati scored the two goals that ensured Dynamos kept their title hopes alive with only five matches to go.
Highlanders needed a Lawson Nkomo-injury-time-winner against time wasting Black Mambas side to keep pace with the log leaders.
The match appeared to be heading for a goalless stalemate with Mambas — down to 10 men after a 29th minute red-card to Tendai Chinungo — holding on to dear life before Nkomo’s screamer from outside the box stole all the points.
If Dynamos beat Highlanders at Rufaro, they will open a five point lead and move within touching distance of the title going into the final phase of the championship race.
Dynamos victory against Bosso will also all, but eliminate the other 14 teams from the league race, as the current third-ranked team, Chicken Inn, can only get to 59 points if they win all their remaining matches.
But if Highlanders win, they will move a point above Dynamos blowing the title race wide open, again.
While the battle for supremacy in the league rages on, the fight for survival at the other end of the table is equally intense.
Quelaton became the first team to be relegated last Saturday after they lost 1-0 to Gunners at Lafarge.
Currently at 10 points, the Bulawayo side will not reach Hwange, who sit at the relegation cut-off point with 26 points, even if they win their remaining five matches.
Blue Rangers made another giant step towards survival after beating Harare City 2-0 at Rufaro Stadium on Friday, as they moved to 24 points, just two points below Hwange who sit on 26 points.
With the two teams still to face each other, the rejuvenated Rangers will be fancying their chances against a flagging Hwange side who have lost eight matches on the trot.
Hardbody and Gunners are at 22 points and are the other two teams trapped in the relegation zone.