A derby with a meaning

HARARE - For the second season running, the Harare derby pitting reigning champions CAPS United and rivals Dynamos will take on great significance as it will determine the destiny of the Castle Lager Premiership title.

It could not be a more fitting showdown.

The Green Machine are seeking to recapture the title they won last season and are on 28 points, 17 behind the Glamour Boys whose last taste of silverware was three years ago under Kalisto Pasuwa, who led them to four successive titles.

Lloyd Chitembwe’s charges still have four matches in hand which leave them favourites among the title contenders as it could take their tally to 40 points if they win them all.

Makepekepe are unbeaten in their last five matches raising hopes amongst its followers.

Realistically at this stage, third placed Dynamos, are in serious contention for the coveted title.

The Glamour Boys are firmly in the race for the championship with 45 points, three behind log leaders Chicken Inn.

Crucially, for the Glamour Boys they have two matches in hand which could see them go top of the log if they pick maximum points in both matches.

Infact, DeMbare could have been on top of the table as one of their outstanding matches is the halted tie against Chapungu in which they were leading 0-4 when play was stopped following the collapse of a goalpost on 56 minutes.

Lloyd Mutasa’s charges are likely to get maximum points after the Premier Soccer League ordered the match to resume from the time it was stopped with scores standing at 0-4.

Their other game in hand is another derby tie against CAPS United after their first scheduled game was postponed in May following the unavailability of National Sports Stadium which was booked by Pastor Chris while Rufaro Stadium was undergoing renovations.

Judging by current form DeMbare are no doubt in formidable shape to challenge for the title.

A defeat this afternoon against the Green Machine will be a huge blow to their title charge which could also come in handy to their rivals like Ngezi Platinum Stars, Chicken Inn and FC Platinum who are also in the race for the title.

However, matches pitting the two giants, just like the world’s other major derbies are a game apart in which the result does not necessarily follow form.

In their last meeting, the Harare derby produced a six goal thriller as two teams settled for a 3-3 draw.

DeMbare had a 0-3 lead heading into the 88th minute but crumbled as they allowed former CAPS defender Dennis Dauda to score late goals that forced a share of spoils.

Defender Ronald Pfumbidzai, who recently joined South Africa’s Absa Premiership side Bloemfontein Celtic, led the comeback with two great assists from the setpieces.

Pfumbidzai will however, be not around this time around after sealing a move to South Africa side Bloemfontein Celtic but tips the Green Machine to emerge victorious.

“I think CAPS United will play well because they have less pressure as compared to Dynamos. When you look at the log standings everyone had ruled CAPS United out of the title race and it’s Dynamos who feel more pressure due to their position on the log table,” Pfumbidzai said.

“I think (John) Zhuwawo and Abasirim Chidiebere will decide the game.

“I have wanted to play the derby but unfortunately I had to leave. It’s one game that I have enjoyed most during my days at CAPS.

"Matches pitting Dynamos and CAPS United are not ordinary fixtures and they push you to do more.”

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