Reschedule remaining games involving top three teams
THERE has been a buzz about the Castle Lager Premiership Harare derby between rivals Dynamos and Caps United being fixed.
Such talk was fuelled by the dramatic manner in which log leaders Caps United staged a terrific comeback from 0-3 down to force a 3-3 draw.
Most people, particularly Highlanders’ fans, saw a conspiracy behind the result, alleging that there was collusion between the Harare sides to prevent Bosso from shooting to the top of the log. Bosso’s win moved them to 53 points, but Caps United’s draw enabled them to move a point above the Bulawayo side to 54 points. FC Platinum blew the opportunity to go top when they allowed Ngezi Platinum to snatch an equaliser restricting them to 52 points.
Howbeit, the fans questioned, that Dynamos, who led 3-0 in the 86th minute, could concede three goals in five minutes. They just couldn’t explain how such a healthy lead was eaten into in five minutes and proffered an assortment of conspiracy theories. They believed the rivalry between the two sides should have enabled Dynamos to defend their lead resolutely for the Harare bragging rights. However, what these fans forgot was that Caps United were also after the same bragging rights and were not going to take the 0-3 humiliating score line lying down. Had Caps United failed to fight back, Bosso fans would have been happy, but the Green Machine would have had to endure all forms of mockery in the capital, and perhaps in Bulawayo too.
The comeback so shocked Bosso fans that they even refrained from embarking on colourful city centre celebrations residents had become accustomed to after every league victory at Barbourfields Stadium. There were mooted celebrations of Bosso’s 3-1 victory over new boys Bulawayo City.
After watching a repeat broadcast of the game on Sunday night, my honest verdict was that Dynamos should have actually lost the tie. In fact, Ronald Pfumbidzai could have grabbed the winner for Caps United had he kept his last minute header low.
What fans have to accept is that Dynamos have been in such poor form this season and what should have surprised them is that they actually scored three goals against Caps United.
When Caps pulled one back, Dynamos players resorted to the confusion they had displayed throughout the season. They panicked and needlessly conceded set pieces, which have been their Waterloo throughout the season. Similar confusion Dynamos showed against Caps United was on display in their 1-2 loss to relegated Border Strikers.
In fact, the 10 matches Dynamos have won in the league this season were largely due to opponents seemingly fearing their reputation rather than their performances. Teams that believed they could beat Dynamos beat the former champions.
Caps United were determined not to lose to Dynamos on Sunday and they staged a sensational comeback that left almost everyone confused and offering a cocktail of unsolicited explanations.
The present Dynamos team is a joke compared to the sides that claimed a record equalling four back-to-back league titles. Those sides were built on solid defences, but the 2016 Dynamos team has been built on confusion and claims and counter claims of sabotage. It seems as though the Harare glamour side never recovered from the turmoil that started at the beginning of the season with the laughable appointment of unknown Portuguese coach Jorge Paulo Silva.
With increasing talk and suspicion of match-fixing, we urge the PSL to reschedule the remaining games involving the top three teams, Caps United, Highlanders and FC Platinum to be played simultaneously to maintain the purity of the league competition.
If matches are played simultaneously, no team will have a competitive advantage over the other by going into a match knowing by how many goals they have to win, since goal difference may as yet play a part in deciding the new champions.
Playing at the same time will also help keep things fair for all teams involved, as well as retain the drama to the last game of the season. — @dilizwe