DeMbare win 20th league title


HARARE – Just when everyone and even some people within the Dynamos family doubted it, the Glamour Boys produced a Houdini Act to clinch their 20th Zimbabwe league title with a 2-0 victory over Black Mambas at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

DeMbare started the day in second place and two points behind Harare City, who were the bookmakers’ favourites to land the title.

HAIL THE CHAMPIONS: Dynamos players and technical staff members celebrate winning the 2013 Castle Premiership title at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday. The Harare giants now have won a record 20 Zimbabwe league titles. Picture: Watson Ofumeli

City, however, blew a golden opportunity when they were held to a 2-2 draw by CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium and DeMbare were at hand to profit with a clinical victory over Mambas.

As has been the case in the previous two seasons, Dynamos sneaked in ahead of Highlanders and City on goal difference to win their third league title on the trot.

It has marked the fifth time that the Glamour Boys have won the league title on goal difference, after similar success stories in 1983, when they ended up tied on points with Rio Tinto, and in 1995 when they ended with the same number of points as Blackpool.

In 2011, Dynamos pipped FC Platinum on goal difference while last year they also needed the similar tie breaker to win the league ahead of Highlanders.

Ironically, in 2010, DeMbare also lost the league championship race on goal difference after ending the season tied on points with Motor Action.

Going into the last round of matches yesterday, all pointers were on Harare City to win the league considering that they were playing a CAPS side that had little to play for.

Even the thousands of DeMbare fans, who normally fill Rufaro Stadium, had very little confidence in their team as the stadium was full.

But unlike in those last two seasons, destiny of the championship was not in DeMbare’s hands and they had to rely on bitter rivals CAPS, who put up a professional performance to deny City.

Highlanders, who were also in with a chance of winning the title, could only beat Shabanie Mine 3-1 in Bulawayo and it was not enough to better DeMbare’s goal difference.

Simba Sithole was the DeMbare hero yesterday after he scored a first half brace that ensured Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa becomes the first coach to win a hat-trick of titles in a row.

Sithole opened the scoring after four minutes when he tapped in a Washington Pakamisa cross after some good work by the impressive Cliff Sekete.

Dynamos could have won by a bigger margin had their strikers done justice to the number of chances they created.

The Glamour Boys dictated pace in the middle of the park, where Sydney Linyama, Sekete and Tawanda Muparati took control of the game, while Ocean Mushure caused havoc down the left flank from his fullback position.

Despite creating a glut of chances DeMbare only increased their lead five minutes from the break when Sithole completed his brace with a header from a Sekete corner.

In the second half both teams created numerous chances but they found no takers.

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