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Date: 14 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Dynamos closer to the title than Motor Action?

[Posted 22 Nov 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Can Dynamos pip Motor Action to the 2010 league title in Zimbabwe?

The Harare derby played on Sunday between two teams at the summit of the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League log, second-placed Dynamos and log leaders Motor Action was billed as the title decider, but was that match really the title decider?

Dembare narrowly beat the Mighty Bulls 2-1 courtesy of goals from Evans Gwekwerere and goalkeeper Washington Arubi. Allan Gahadzikwa had equalised for the Mighty Bulls.

Dynamos, who were sitting on second position with 54 points from 24 games before this encounter, have now moved to 57 points with a game in hand. Leaders Motor Action, remain in pole position with 58 points, but their lead has now been whittled down to a single point.

Dembare have an outstanding match against their bogey side Gunners, a team that beat them to the championship in a title decider last season. Dynamos have 5 games left, where as  the Mighty Bulls have 4 games remaining.

On paper, the log leaders appear to have a mountain to climb given their tough upcoming assignments against in-form teams. 

The Mighty Bulls will face the defending champions and 4th placed Gunners FC. While it is clear that for any other teams apart from Dembare and Motor Action, what is left is to play for pride and a good finish in the PSL, facing the champions is never an easy task.

Joey Antipas' boys will have to deal with pressure to win and from their fans' expectations, and ofcourse the quality of their opposition. Gunners have been playing very mature football between last season and this year, and they will be playing at home in this fixture.

Next, in week 28, Motor Action have the 'misfortune' of coming against Mkhupali Masuku's resurgent Highlanders, probably Zimbabwe's best team on current form.

Young coach Masuku has turned around Bosso's fortunes, and from a 7th place when he took over, Bosso find themselves in 3rd position, but ofcourse they are, realistically speaking, out of reckoning for a 2nd and Champions League spot.

No-one expects Motor Action to stroll past Tshilamoya, and if we are to judge both teams on current form, many neutrals' money will be on Bosso to beat the Mighty Bulls in week 28. Yet, it should be remembered that soccer is such a crazy game.

As if meeting champions Gunners and resurgent giants Highlanders is not enough punishment, Motor Action are penciled to meet resurgent Harare giants CAPS United in week 29. What a line up of opposition for Antipas' team at this crucial stage of the championship!

In contradistinction, things appear stage-managed to ensure a Dynamos championship following the agony of 2009. On paper, Dembare will have it easy in their last four games.

In week 27, Dynamos are scheduled to play little Kiglon, and the Glamour Boys are expected to stroll past the PSL light-weights, who have developed a stubbornness of their own lately.

Dembare will face relegation facing FC Victoria in week 28. Teams facing demotion are known to spring surprises on opposition towards end of the season. It is called "kicks of a dying horse". Dynamos players are however experienced enough to know how to handle teams in FC Victoria' position.

Dynamos' last two games are between two other bottom teams, Douglas Warriors (in week 29) and they will then conclude the season against Madinda Ndlovu's Black Mambas. While anything is possible, few expect D. Warriors and Mambas to pose serious problems for Dembare's title aspirations.

Dynamos' fans can therefore be forgiven for thinking that the title is already in the bag. Nonetheless, such simplistic thinking can be countered with only one warning, that is, the proverbial "do not count your chicks before they are hatched" warning.

Log leaders Motor Action will need to overcme mental blocks and summon all the courage they have in order to skip the hurdles before them, if they dream of lifting the unbranded championship for the first time in their history.

If the Mighty Bulls are to lift the league title this season, then they would have re-written the history of PSL championship in Zimbabwe, whereby the title changes hands three times in a row outside the Big Three league (Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS). 

Little-known Gunners won the title in 2009 and frustrated traditional powerhouse Dynamos, by beating them in a title decider. A season earlier,  another light-weight at the time, Monomotapa then under Norman Mapeza's guidance, were crowned 2008 champions.

Monoz went on to hold the continent spell-bound by notching some memorable victories in the Champions League, culminating in their qualification for the mini-league stage of the competition.

Gunners attempted to emulate Monoz a year later. They managed to get the attention of the entire continent when they shocked African team of the Millenium Al Ahly of Egypt 1-0 at Rufaro stadium in the 1st leg of the Champions League 2nd round. The Zimbabweans eventually succumbed to a disappointing 2-0 defeat in Cairo in the second leg. 

  

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