Dynamos coach, Tonderai Ndiraya’s eyes must have flashed with zest after learning of results elsewhere, after his team had collected maximum points in their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie away to an already relegated Dongo Sawmill.
by Kevin Mapasure
In Harare, FC Platinum gaffer, Norman Mapeza might have sunk into depression when the final whistle sounded at Lafarge Stadium, where his team failed to cope with the bumpy surface, only managing to salvage a point (1-1) against Flame Lily, but his eyes too may have sparkled at learning that Chicken Inn had also been held by Tsholotsho.
The top two teams, Chicken Inn (55 points) and FC Platinum (53 points), would remain separated by just two points, with two matches to go before the top-flight league denouement.
Chicken Inn’s Joey Antipas may have experienced the same swing of emotions, as Mapeza with this pressure-filled, but intriguing title tussle providing more evidence of its unpredictability.
For a long time, even with the knowledge of how dangerous relegation-threatened teams are at the closing stages of a campaign, Flame Lily and Tsholotsho looked dead and buried and they had been heavily tipped to donate easy points to the title chasers.
But the mini-resurgence by both teams saw the league serve an unexpected twist to the title race, with DeMbare’s waning hopes receiving a boost.
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In the last few years, DeMbare have become the poster boys of a never-say-die attitude, where they have on a couple of occasions risen almost from the dead.
Yet this season, they have failed to hit top gear in the final third of the season, as they have been known to, with results coming sporadically.
But here is another opportunity for the Glamour Boys, to pile pressure on the top two teams.
Dynamos have no control of their own destiny, even if they win against Chapungu on Sunday and against Buffaloes on the final day in Mutare, they will still need favourable results elsewhere.
They need friends, yet the interesting part is, it is their bitter foes Caps United, who can help further brighten their chances.
All of a sudden, the Dynamos supporters appreciate how good Caps United are and how Lloyd Chitembwe is a master tactician.
All of a sudden, “Kepekepe Bhora” is their new soundtrack, as the Green Machine travels to the fortress of Mandava Stadium, where FC Platinum have been very successful with their “death by football” approach as they pass teams rugged.
So too, they believe in Taurai Mangwiro and his unpredictable Harare City, who for Dynamos to retain their faint hopes have to get a positive result at Luveve Stadium against the log leaders, Chicken Inn.
The title matrix is complicated for Dynamos, but simple, at least on paper for the GameCocks, who can seal their maiden championship with a win at the weekend, but only if Caps United get a positive result at Mandava.
FC Platinum’s case is not as complicated as that of Dynamos, as two wins in their last two matches will pivot them, hoping for just one slip up for Chicken Inn.