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Dembare, Bosso in low stakes Battle of Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
27 Oct 2022 at 06:08hrs | Views
GIANTS Dynamos and Highlanders are set to rekindle their age-old rivalries with nothing much to fight for in a Castle Lager Premiership match at the National Sports Stadium this Sunday.

The contest comes just a week after the 2021/2022 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title destiny has already been decided.

The big prize was claimed by FC Platinum, who snatched up a fourth straight title last Saturday after amassing an unassailable tally, with three games remaining in the season.

And, for the umpteenth time, the giants will be fighting for the crumbs down the pecking order, as Dynamos face a stiff challenge from Chicken Inn for the second place while Bosso are hoping to cement their position in the top four.

Inconsistencies have hit DeMbare's campaign hard. At some point this year, they were tipped to compete for the title while Bosso were never in the race despite the huge incentives from the two clubs' principal sponsors Sakunda Holdings.

The country's two biggest teams, who secured lucrative sponsorship deals with the local energy giants this season, not only missed out on the title.

Sakunda Holdings had promised both teams a cool US$150 000 for winning the league title which comes with participation in the CAF Champions League.

And as they rekindle their rivalries on Sunday, there isn't much to look forward to, apart from the traditional rivalry. The game is devoid of stakes.

At worst, this duel has been reduced to a social game especially after FC Platinum wrapped up the league championship last weekend.

It is even different from the ill-fated first leg that was played at Barbourfields in May this year. Then, Dynamos were top of the table with 30 points from 14 games.

The Glamour Boys were on a nine-match unbeaten run. But that first leg had to be decided via the board room after the match was abandoned due to hooliganism.

Both teams were fined, and the match was awarded to Highlanders on a 3-0 scoreline.

So many things have changed, and Dynamos will go into Sunday's match on the back of a demoralising 0-1 defeat away to relegation fighters Bulawayo City in their last match.

Bosso, who have experienced a renaissance under their new Portuguese coach Baltermar Brito, have the momentum after storming the top four with a hard-fought derby win over Bulawayo Chiefs last Sunday.

Despite their woes, it is still worth noting that the clash between Dynamos and Highlanders is one of the biggest in the region.

The two clubs are the most supported in Zimbabwe and are unrivalled in terms of success. The giants share between themselves 23 league titles in the 40 seasons that have been completed since Independence in 1980.

They have been involved in some intriguing duels before and after Independence.

The contests, which were later coined "The Battle of Zimbabwe", have headlined the domestic football landscape over the years.

Dynamos are Zimbabwe's biggest and most successful club despite being formed much later than Highlanders. They have won an incredible 21 league titles since the club's formation in 1963.

Highlanders are second in terms of success, with seven titles — the last of which was 18 years ago, in 2006.

On a sad note, Dynamos will walk into their 60th anniversary next year with nothing in their hands. The same gloomy atmosphere is at Highlanders, who celebrate 100 years in 2026.


Saturday: ZPC Kariba v Bulawayo City (Nyamhunga); Harare City v Whawha (NSS); Chicken Inn v CAPS Utd (Luveve); FC Platinum v Yadah (Mandava); Black Rhinos v Manica Diamonds (Vengere); Tenax v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Sakubva)

Sunday: Cranborne Bullets v Triangle (Vengere); Bulawayo Chiefs v Herentals (Luveve); Dynamos v Highlanders (NSS)

Source - The Herald