Rebirth of the Harare Derby

HARARE – It was exactly four years ago when Nyasha Mushekwi, then the country’s most feared striker, fired a brace as CAPS United defeated rivals Dynamos 2-1 in a league match.

That result would mark the last time United beat their cross town nemesis in a league match, and that Rufaro Stadium was the venue of that cracking match on a fine sunny afternoon makes this weekend’s Harare Derby at the same venue a little more interesting.

I like Rufaro not because it is a world-class facility that Zimbabwe so desperately need in this day and age, but for the reason that there is not vast distance between the spectators and the pitch so the fans enjoy an electrifying atmosphere in a ground veteran broadcaster Charles Mabika aptly refers to as the Ceremonial Home of Zimbabwean Football.

Rufaro is the setting for Sunday’s 71st edition of the derby, and like four years ago, there is so much to play on Sunday.

Four years ago Gunners went on to win the title, but this time around, both Dynamos and CAPS are in with a good shout for the league title.

Defending champions Dynamos lead the Castle Premiership standings with 38 points while CAPS, who are unbeaten in 10 matches, are a mere three points adrift in fourth position.

The timing is right for the rebirth of the famous Harare Derby, a fixture which before its demise four years ago, stirred emotions and sets tongues in local football circles wagging.

After all has been said and done, the stage is now set for these two great clubs to fight it out for Harare supremacy.

Dynamos will come into the match as favourites, with Calisto Pasuwa’s men having mastered the art of grinding out results and often winning ugly when the occasion calls for it.

As for CAPS, they owe their long-suffering fans a performance on Sunday and they will believe they are more than capable of doing that under the astute stewardship of Taurai Mangwiro.

Let the sounds of the derby reverberate!

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