NGEZI Platinum Stars host Dynamos at Baobab Stadium on Saturday afternoon, in what many have described as one of the biggest games of the season, but can this one match determine the destiny of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title?
BY HENRY MHARA/ TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Dynamos lie in second place heading into this weekend’s big showdown against opponents coached by their former son Tonderai Ndiraya (pictured), who sit in third position with just one point separating the two.
A win for Ndiraya’s men will see them leapfrog their visitors into second place and retain control of their destiny after some surprise bad results of late which slightly put their charge off rails.
Victory for Dynamos, on the other hand, will almost certainly narrow the title tussle into a two-horse race with log leaders FC Platinum, who enjoy a slender one-point lead at the top.
Thus, the significance of winning the Baobab contest would not be just the three points the victorious team gets, but also the three points the opposition fails to pick up.
But the big question is posed as to whether victory here for either side would bring the title their way come the end of the season.
With plenty up for stakes, Dynamos manager Richard Chihoro admitted that Ngezi Platinum presents one of the Glamour Boys’ toughest fixtures in their title run-in, and it is a must-win if his side are to win the trophy that has eluded them in the last two years.
“The most important thing now is to win the next match. It will not be easy, but for us we have targeted to win all our remaining matches of the campaign. We are going there with a positive attitude, we want to win each and every game from now onwards,” said Chihoro.
Dynamos go into the match on the back of a dispiriting 1-1 draw at home against lowly Tsholotsho and will be looking to collect maximum points to keep pressure on leaders FC Platinum, who could be four points clear by the time the kick-off whistle sounds at Baobab.
When the two sides met in the reverse fixture, the match turned out to be a five-goal thriller, Dynamos sneaking a 3-2 win and thus the “DeMbare Urban” firmly hold the bragging rights against the “DeMbare Rural”.
However, Ndiraya’s men are unbeaten at home in the league this season and will be hoping to continue with that impressive run as they seek to win the championship in their second season in the top-flight league.
“Of course, we have done very well here at the Baobab. We have been very impressive and that is a positive thing for us. But at this stage of the season, you need to be cautious and not lose concentration. Otherwise they will come and be the first team to collect points from us at home,” Ndiraya said.
While the winner of this titanic fixture is by no means guaranteed the title, but one thing is for sure: It gives a massive confidence booster going into the final four games of the season.