Battle for Uhuru

HARARE - Reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions CAPS United return to the National Sports Stadium on Sunday, hoping to maintain their newly-found dominance over Dynamos after the two teams were paired to face each other in the Independence Cup semi-final.

The Green Machine, before last season, lived in the shadows of Dynamos as they had not won a game against their bitter rivals since April 2009.

Since then, the Glamour Boys had gone on to win consecutive league titles and several other trophies between 2011 and 2014 while Makepekepe could only watch from a distance.

The Green Machine finally ended that jinx when they won 1-0 in the first round of the 2016 Castle Premiership season courtesy of a Dominic Chungwa goal and Lloyd Chitembwe’s charges are yet to lose a game to their neighbours.

The reverse fixture last November will probably go down in history as one of the most memorable matches between the two rivals in domestic football in recent years.

Dynamos somehow surrendered a 3-0 lead in the last five minutes of the match, allowing CAPS to fight back and earn a point in a 3-3 draw — a result which was pivotal in United’s march to their fifth league title.

The two teams went on to clash in the ZNA Charities Commander Shield semi-final this year where the reigning league champions triumphed 3-1 courtesy of goals from Leonard Tsipa, Dominic Chungwa and a Wisdom Mutasa own goal.

Makepekepe went on to lift the ZNA Charities Commander Shield after beating Bulawayo giants Highlanders 3-2 following a penalty-shoot out at Barbourfields Stadium last month after the match had ended goalless in regulation time. 

Interestingly, Dynamos and CAPS United will clash again during Week Seven in a Castle Premier Soccer League encounter (PSL).

The two teams have had a mixed start to the 2017 PSL season with CAPS United opening their campaign with a goalless draw against Shabanie Mine before picking up their first set of maximum points after beating Harare City in their second match of the season last weekend.

Dynamos saw their season get off to a false start after going down 0-1 to FC Platinum in their opening match of the season before following it up with a 2-2 draw against Triangle last weekend in a game they threw away a two-goal lead.

The other semi-final will see Highlanders face FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday to determine who will play in the final next week Tuesday to mark the country’s independence celebrations.

This will be the second time that the two teams clash this year after Bosso and the platinum miners also met in the semifinal of the ZNA Charities Commander Shield semifinal in February. Bosso emerged 3-0 victors, before however, losing to CAPS United in the final.

And there is no doubt that Sunday’s match will present Norman Mapeza and his charges with an immediate platform for revenge. Defending champions, Chicken Inn who won the cup last season after beating Highlanders 2-1 in the final were not considered for this year’s edition.

Instead the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) explained that the tournament is an invitational tournament, where participants are selected on the association’s discretion, who are the organisers of the esteemed event.

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