Title race in decisive phase

HARARE - The Castle Premiership 2013 title race enters a decisive phase Sunday afternoon with all three leading contenders in action across the country.

Defending champions Dynamos, who occupy top spot with 48 points, are away to Triangle at Gibbo Stadium in the Lowveld.

Second-placed Harare City, who are also 48 points but trail Dynamos on goal difference, are on the road to face relegation threatened Black Rhinos at Rimuka Stadium in Kadoma.

Highlanders who occupy third place on the log with 47 points, travel to Rufaro Stadium to face already relegated Motor Action.

The three teams will be hard pressed to earn positive results when the clock hits full time today in a battle for the title that began six months ago.

DeMbare will face a highflying Triangle side that has gone on an eight-match unbeaten run that has seen the sugar cane farmers avoid relegation in their maiden season in the top flight.

Gishon Ntini’s men last lost on July 20 when they went down 3-1 to Buffaloes.

All week, Ntini has been taunting the defending champions and believes his side will make life difficult for the Glamour Boys.

“These matches have come at the right time of the season. The league destiny is in my hands and if there is anyone who thinks it’s over then they must be joking,” Ntini said during the week

“Personally, I respect Dynamos and their coach Callisto Pasuwa whom I think has done pretty well in the previous two seasons. It’s obviously going to be a tough match.”

DeMbare will be without defender Patson Jaure for the visit to Gibbo after he was sent off last weekend in their ill-tempered 1-0 win away to bitter rivals Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium.

The Glamour Boys are likely to be without Jaure for an extended period as the Zimbabwe international tried to attack referee Thabani Bamala after he had received his marches orders.

The league has already summoned Jaure to a disciplinary hearing.

Second-placed City should brace themselves for a tough assignment when they face bogey army side Rhinos.

Chauya Chipembere have turned Rimuka into some sort of fortress since relocating to Kadoma after the mid-season transfer window.

Many sides including FC Platinum, Dynamos, Shabanie Mine, Black Mambas and Buffaloes all failed to score on their visits to the venue.

Highlanders are the only team to have emerged with all three points from Rimuka with a 3-0 win two weeks ago.

If The Sunshine Boys are not careful, all the good work they have done can become unstuck at Rimuka.

At Rufaro, already relegated Motor Action will be hoping to dent Highlanders prospects of regaining control of the title race.

The Mighty Bulls have only lost once to Bosso since 2010. Highlanders’ last victory over the former Zimbabwe champions came last year with a 2-1 win at Barbourfields.

Motor Action, who have struggled financially this season, were relegated with four games to spare, ending their 14-year romance with the Premiership.

The mighty Bulls are, however, not taking this afternoon’s match lightly despite their fate having been already sealed.  

“Yes we have been relegated, but we need to go out with pride. Beating Highlanders at home will be a suiting send-off for these youngsters,” Motor Action coach David George said last week.

“We are very mindful of the fact that they are in the championship race. We will practise fair play and we will not make it easy for them.

“We will go there and make a good game of it. We will go up there and try to win the game.

“This one will be exceptionally hard but we are playing well enough to go and try to win games. It’s a game of football and anything can happen.”

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