DYNAMOS have defied a directive by Zifa to participate in the replay of the Independence Cup final against FC Platinum abandoned at the National Sports Stadium on April 18 due to power failure.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA/HENRY MHARA
The replay has been scheduled for tomorrow at Rufaro.
Club president Keni Mubaiwa said yesterday they were done with this year’s Independence Cup final and were now looking forward to next year’s tournament.
He suggested FC Platinum should be given the match on a 1-0 scoreline.
“What we know is we are done with this year’s Independence Cup final. We entertained people on Independence Day and the match was abandoned when we were leading 1-0. So we are saying we played our part and we are waiting for next year’s tournament. I don’t see any problem because we are saying FC Platinum should be declared the winner. We are accepting defeat. We want silver medals and we don’t see any problem with that,” said Mubaiwa.
Zifa, however, said the match would have to be played.
“The match is going ahead as scheduled. This is not a Zifa thing, but a national issue. The match was abandoned and it was beyond the control of Zifa. Both Dynamos and FC Platinum are affiliates of Zifa and they have to comply,” said the association’s spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela.
In contrast, FC Platinum said they would participate.
“We have been advised that the match is on Wednesday, so we are travelling to Harare tomorrow [today]. We are not aware of the Dynamos issue, but we are going to take part in the match unless we are advised otherwise,” said club spokesperson Chido Chizondo.
The PSL has already arranged fixtures factoring in the midweek final. Dynamos — who were leading 1-0 courtesy of Ronald Chitiyo at the time the match was abandoned — had that advantage nullified by Zifa after going through what they called analysis of various possible scenarios within the dictates of the laws of the game as well as the tournament rules and regulations .
According to Zifa, this will be a new game altogether and it will be played for a full 90 minutes.
On the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, the race is well and truly underway.
Nine games have elapsed and it is Triangle who have emerged as genuine title contenders with many pundits and fans tipping the Lowveld side to wrestle the championship away from Dynamos. They have been scintillating so far, if not terrifying, and their 6-0 smashing of Whawha at the weekend was yet another reminder that Kelvin Kaindu and his men mean business this season.
Triangle are top of the log with 20 points, the position they share with Chicken Inn, but the former are better placed due to a very healthy goal difference.
Scary is probably the best word to describe Kaindu’s attack. They have hit the nets 23 times in nine matches, 15 of the goals scored at home — formidable form for a team that managed just a total 37 goals last term. They have won six times, drawn twice and lost once, a shock 1-0 defeat to Flame Lily some few weeks ago.
While Kaindu would certainly be satisfied after such a storming start to the season, with notable victories against some of the pre-season title favourites including Caps United (4-0) and Harare City (3-1), he knows the next three fixtures will be his biggest test so far and probably his most important of the season.
Next up for Triangle is a trip to Zvishavane on Saturday to face wounded FC Platinum, before hosting How Mine and then travel to Harare to meet Dynamos, all teams that are considered title contenders. If they can get at least seven points from those three matches, Triangle would have laid down the marker for the title.
Chicken Inn are not far off though. They might not been scoring goals like Triangle, but they are so efficient in collecting points.
Just like Triangle, they have six wins, two draws — including a 1-1 against ZPC Kariba on Saturday which saw them surrendering the top spot — and one loss. Their next three matches are not as intimidating as those of their closest competitor and they could be the major beneficiary of Triangle’s tough fixture list.
The Joey Antipas-coached side has struggling and inconsistent Highlanders next up on their menu before travelling to Hwange and then host relegation-threatened Buffaloes.
But the biggest story of the weekend fixtures was penned at Rufaro Stadium when Oscar Machapa’s last-gasp winner for Dynamos saved both his coach David Mandigora’s job and his side from falling to their third straight loss.