DYNAMOS celebrated title number 20 yesterday after beating and relegating Black Mambas from the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, following a 2-0 win at Rufaro Stadium.
WELLINGTON TONI,SPORTS EDITOR
This is their third title in a row, a third for coach Kalisto Pasuwa and a third won on the trot on goal difference. In 2011, Dynamos won the league title tied on 58 points with FC Platinum while last season, they were tied on 69 points with Highlanders.
Dynamos, Harare City — who drew 2-2 against Caps United at the National Sports Stadium yesterday — and Highlanders — who thumped Shabanie Mine 3-1 at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo — all had 54 points, but the champions had the better goal difference of plus 21.
Highlanders were on plus 18, marking the end of another nerve-wrecking Premiership season where the leadership of the league changed hands almost on a weekly basis. Harare City went into the match needing just three points to clinch the league title, but they let Caps United, who had only fourth place to play for, dictate the pace of the game after finding the first equaliser.
And when the Green Machine led 2-1 until the breather, the pressure was always going to be on Harare City to fight to the bitter end to steal a win. They did that though, pulling one back to make it 2-2, but the third could not just arrive. In fact, to say they were in the game to win it, would be an understatement. They did not play like they wanted to be champions and simply wasted numerous chances that came their way in the second half. Leslie Gwindi, the Harare City chairperson, summed it up after the match: “The boys did not take the chances.” Tawanda Muparati, the Dynamos captain, paid tribute to Caps United for what he said doing the job on their behalf.
“I would like to thank the Caps players for winning it for us. To Dynamos fans, we love you, to Dynamos Bulawayo Chapter, we love you.”
Now Dynamos will head towards the Caf Champions League together with Mbada Diamonds Cup finalists How Mine (Confederation Cup), hoping to do better than last season and reach the mini-league phase of the competition.
After failing to win the BancABC Sup8r and defend the Mbada Diamonds Cup, Dynamos needed to end the season with a bang after they had almost been written off following the losses to Hwange and FC Platinum and the home draw to Shabanie Mine. But like true champions, they rose like a phoenix from the ashes and fought all the way to the $70 000 prize money. Highlanders will get $50 000 and are assured of at least $90 000 from Mbada Diamonds as they are in the final while City will be content with $30 000.
It was a season that the Dynamos leadership, under Keni Mubaiwa, would like to review quickly and put in place a strong team that will offer competition in Africa. The team’s executive will look back at the wise decision to keep Pasuwa as head coach, even when there was pressure from the fans to change the technical team.
Winners – US$70 000
Runners-up – 50 000
3rd place – 30 000
4th place – 26 000
5th place – 24 000
6th place – 20 000
7th place – 18 000
8th place – 15 000
9th place – 14 000
10th place – 12 000
11th place – 10 000
12th place – 7 000
13th place – 5 000
14th place – 5 000
15th place – 5 000
16th place – 5000
Number of Titles:
20 Dynamos (Harare),7 Highlanders (Bulawayo), 4 Caps United (Harare), 2 Black Aces (Harare) (includes previously when they played as Chibuku Shumba)
Black Rhinos (Mutare), Bulawayo Rovers Bulawayo Sables, Harare Sables ,Zimbabwe Saints (Bulawayo), 1 AmaZulu (Bulawayo), Arcadia United (Harare), Gunners (Harare), Metal Box (do not exist anymore), Monomotapa (Harare)
Motor Action (Harare)State House Tornados (Harare, defunct) St Paul’s (Murehwa, defunct)