AFTER just two seasons in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, Harare City could be crowned the 2013 champions next Sunday if they beat Caps United and with it a ticket to the Caf Champions League next year.
Results elsewhere will not matter — after a surgical operation that sent Highlanders tumbling to their worst defeat of the season on Sunday in that 4-0 humiliation, they just need three points against the Green Machine to move to 56.
Dynamos stayed in contention with a 2-2 draw against Chicken Inn at Barbourfields, again exposing how poor they have been on the road this season and are two points behind — the same as Highlanders, but sit on a superior goal difference.
This was the third meeting of the two teams this season, with Highlanders having prevailed on two occasions, winning 2-0 in the reverse fixture and crucially knocking City out of the cash-rich Mbada Diamonds Cup in Mandava two weeks ago.
The Mandava match should have served as a warning to Highlanders as they had to come back twice to force a 2-2 draw before winning the dreaded lottery 5-3 after goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya had saved David Kutyauripo’s spot kick.
Highlanders though are still in the running for both the league and cup double, even as they sit on 51 points. They are in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final and are already guaranteed of $90 000 before facing bogey side How Mine on November 30 at Barbourfields.
Only Highlanders have managed to beat the same team three times this season — Triangle. But How Mine, having already defeated Bosso twice, can also make it three in a row and cap a memorable season that will end with a flight into the Caf Confederations Cup.
If they beat Shabanie Mine on Sunday at Barbourfields and Dynamos draw or lose against Black Mambas or City also draw or lose against Caps, they will be crowned the champions.
This means Highlanders will be on 54 points and City on 53 if they lose to Caps.
Should Bosso win and City draw, then the Bulawayo giants will be crowed champions on goal difference.
But Dynamos are still in. if they beat Black Mambas and both City and Highlanders lose, they will make it 20 league titles and three in a row for coach Kalisto Pasuwa.
For City, they need just a win, but still a loss will see them grab the top gong if both Dynamos and Highlanders lose their matches.
The issue of goal difference also comes in here as Highlanders need to better Dynamos by four goals.
So fluent were Bigboy Mawiwi’s City on Sunday that anybody now can put their last dollar on them winning the league title as they face Caps United in the last league match of the season.
Silas Songani, one of the best players in the City side this season, scored one while Nathan Ziwini scored twice and William Manondo another as the City Fathers dismantled a coach-less Highlanders whose boss Kelvin Kaindu is away in the UK for two weeks.
Even with the experienced trio of Mthulisi Maphosa, Bheki Ncube and Masimba Mambare, all championship winners before, Highlanders had no answer to the technically gifted side and stand in coach Bekithemba Ndlovu seemed to have no Plan B.
FC Platinum had the chance of adding to the drama had they won against How Mine, but could only manage a 1-1 draw in Bulawayo leaving them with 49 points and in fourth place. Their last match is against Buffaloes at home and a top-four finish is almost guaranteed.