SO it has finally come down to the last 90 minutes of the Castle Lager Premiership to crown the 2014 champions.
There are two protagonists, on the one hand ZPC Kariba on 56 points and playing Caps United and on the other defending champions Dynamos on 54 points and facing How Mine-both games on the same day on Sunday.
The equation for the defending champions is simple: win against How Mine and hope ZPC lose to Caps. Or win and ZPC draw, but win by five goals to close the goal gap.
That is the tough task that awaits Callisto Pasuwa and his Harare giants as they attempt to land a fourth consecutive title and stop ZPC from taking the title out of the capital at their first try. Only in 1984 has this ever happened when Black Rhinos came straight from Division One and won the league title.
Again, no team outside Harare and Bulawayo has ever won title, with FC Platinum coming close in 2011 in when they ended the season on 58 points only to be edged by Dynamos on goal difference.
Pasuwa said the two draws against Chapungu (1-1) and Bantu Rovers (0-0) were unnecessary and have put pressure on his team.
“We blew everything up in those two games, but we are going to play until the last minute against How Mine. We still need to win our match and see what happens in the other game,” Pasuwa said earlier this week.
“I have told my guys to keep focused and to believe and never to lose hope, this is football and anything can happen.”
Last season, Dynamos needed help from Caps United to win the league title after the Green Machine drew 2-2 against Harare City while they defeated Black Mambas 2-0.
This time around, Caps are the kingmakers again, but without head coach Taurai Mangwiro, who is on a Fifa course in Cameroon.
Caps assistant coach Mike Madzivanyika said they are playing for their own pride and record and would not be looking to help any team.
“We are a professional team and we have a reputation to protect,” Madzivanyika said.
“Our focus is on the ZPC match and where we finish at the end of the season and we are not worried about what people are saying about helping Dynamos.”
How Mine coach Luke Masomere said his links to Dynamos would not be an issue on Sunday; he has played and coached there.
“Every time when I play Dynamos it’s Masomere this, Masomere that. Why can’t you beat Dynamos yourselves? I beat Dynamos almost every season. I am not here to do anyone any favour. I am a professional,” he said.Advertisement
The 2003 championship winning coach with AmaZulu led Buffaloes, his first team this season, to a 1-0 win against DeMbare at the National Sports Stadium at the start of the season.
Last season, Dynamos failed to beat Shabanie Mine three times when Masomere was in charge of the Zvishavane side.
The two teams played out draws in the league before Shabanie booted Dynamos out of the BancABC Sup8r Cup in Bulawayo.
Sunday: Harare City v Chicken Inn (Rufaro), Triangle v Shabanie Mine (Gibbo), Black Rhinos v Bantu Rovers (Rimuka), Buffaloes v Hwange (Sakubva), FC Platinum v Chiredzi (Mandava), Highlanders v Chapungu (Hartsfield), ZPC Kariba v Caps United (Gwanzura SS9), Dynamos v How Mine (National Sports Stadium)