Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Highlanders and Dynamos eying the crown

This is the home straight. Like the Kenyan Tusker Premier League that Goh Mahia lost in the last game with three teams, Mahia, Tusker and AFC Leopards in contention, the Zimbabwean Castle Lager Premier League seems headed for the same bitter end with Highlanders and Dynamos gunning for the kudos.

Dynamos play host to army side Buffaloes of Mutare, while Bulawayo giants Highlanders, second on the log and two points behind them, are at home to FC Platinum. Any lip will probably hand the championship to the other on a silver platter, but as witnessed in Kenya, this is football.

Highlanders’ match against FC Platinum may make them the first team to go for the entire season without losing at home besides their record of the 23 unbeaten stretch attained earlier in the season.

Bosso is aware of the pedigree of their opponents, the richest team in that country while Dynamos will match the spirit even if the fight was for nothing. The Bulawayo team will be baying for blood as an all or nothing contest they approach this home straight.

The fear of pressure in approaching the game as a winner take all thrust, is allayed by the shrewd coach who has praised his lads for doing him and the fans proud so far, having achieved way beyond any expectation. All he could say was that, ‘It shall be well’.

The permutations and combinations will be more complex until the mid-week fixtures are done, going to the final matches. The results are unlikely to be conclusive until fixture 30 next week, when Zimbabwean champions will be crowned.

Bosso are banking on the momentum of the results and a weekend’s rest while Dynamos are buoyed by the Mbada Diamonds victory over arch-rivals, Caps United. Fatigue will be the Harare team’s worry as the vitality of the end-of-season intoxication in the muscles sets in. Their activity would have been envy for many during the mid-season as teams try not to break the rhythm.

Much will depend on the balance of who wants it more without bowing to too much pressure of expectation. It remains a question of how much Dynamos will defend the title than the ambushing ambition of the novices of Bulawayo who have proved time and again that they have come of age.