HARARE – So near and yet so far has often been misused in society but how befitting is it for Harare City who came so close to lifting the Castle Premier Soccer League title only to lose it in cruel fashion on Sunday.
City needed an outright victory to land the title but met a brick wall in CAPS United who gave little away to drive a dagger into the hearts of the Sunshine Boys and produce a result that indirectly handed Dynamos their third straight title after the two played out a 2-2 draw at the National Sports Stadium.
Dynamos beat Black Mambas 2-0 across town but that result was given full meaning after their rivals CAPS United did them a favour with a performance that deserves a Fair Play of the Year Award.
Of course most of the United faithful were left in dejection as they had hoped their team would deny DeMbare their 20th title.
Sunday’s results saw City along with Dynamos and Highlanders assume 54 points.
The three teams are separated by goal difference with Dynamos winning the title on goal difference of +21, Bosso finishing in second place with +19 and City closing on third with +18.
CAPS United coach Taurai Magwiro said handing Dynamos the premiership trophy was not his objective.
“I’m actually surprised to hear that,” Mangwiro said after the match. “All we wanted was to have a strong finish to the season”.
Mawiwi said this was going to be a hard moment to forget for both him and his players.
“It’s the cruel world of football. I was telling the youngsters right through the week that we are not under any pressure,” Mawiwi said.
“We needed to play our normal game which we didn’t do especially in the first half. We made several mistakes and it cost us today.
Naturally I’m happy for the job well done by the youngsters it was a marathon season.”
Mawiwi conceded they were not big enough to win the championship but promised that he would come back stronger next season.
“I know the areas we need to work on and I’m going to do that. Of course the championship is won by men; we are still learning. We will regroup and work on those areas.
“We are a young side; we are growing. We are going to be formidable side I can promise you that.”
Harare City looked on course for a victory after racing into the lead after 15 minutes through William Manondo’s opportunistic tap in.
CAPS United made an immediate comeback with Dominic Chungwa finishing off Tawanda Nyamandwe’s well floated cross catching City defence out at sea.
United took the lead through Nyamandwe’s 25th minute strike leaving City to go to the breather trailing 2-1 and in desperate need of big performance to turn around the match.
The Sunshine Boys looked to have found a saviour in Martin Vengesai whose fired-up second half performance created the equaliser.
But Makepekepe would go on to hold on for a draw that would send the Sunshine Boys into mourning and equally catapult Dynamos to their third title.