HomeSportIntriguing clashes as PSL climaxes

Intriguing clashes as PSL climaxes

THE 2010 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season is set for one of the most gripping final day contests  in its 17-year history on Sunday.

The battles are sizzling at both the upper and lower echelons of the log with six teams sweating on two distinctly different ambitions, the championship and the chop.
What makes the contests even more intriguing is the way the battles influence each other as the two teams entertaining title ambitions, the Elvis Chiweshe coached Dynamos and Motor Action, collide with relegation haunted Black Mambas and Lengthens respectively.
There is lingering scepticism over last week’s results which saw Caps United lose 4-2 to Motor Action and Dynamos winning 4-0 against F.C. Victoria.
It is indisputable that Motor Action go into the final stretch as favourites to lift their first title.
Having suffered relegation worries for the entire season in 2009, the Mighty Bulls have dispatched teams with ruthless efficiency winning 19 out of 29 games, and losing only four thus far and have led the league log for most of the season. They would not want to surrender it all on the last day.
But while Eric Rosen’s charges have been attracting all the headlines in the league, Dynamos were accumulating points at their own steady pace, almost unnoticeable until close to the end when their chances blossomed.
Tied at 63 points with Dynamos, Motor Action have a superior goal difference of 32, two better than Dynamos who have scored seven less goals.
It means that should Motor Action win, DeMbare will need to win by a goal margin that is at least three goals more, should they concede the same number of goals.
The two relegation candidates, Lengthens and Black Mambas are both tied on 29 points, with one more slot for the second tier league next season yet to be determined.
Douglas Warriors, FC Victoria and Bantu Rovers have already been relegated to the unglamorous life of the First Division. If both side lose on Sunday, then Lengthens would certainly kiss the Premiership goodbye as they have a goal difference of -17 compared to Mambas’ – 5.
Lengthens’ hope lies in Mambas failing to win against Dynamos, in which case they would need to win their match.
Traditional giants Caps United and Highlanders left it too late to launch serious title campaigns and their recent good run of form will only serve to salvage some pride. Both clubs recovered under new coaches, Moses Chunga (Caps United) and Mkhuphali Masuku (Highlanders), who came in the middle of the campaign and enjoyed agood run of results.
Among other things Chunga plucked goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda’s from obscurity while giving opportunities to players his predecessor Lloyd Chitembwe hitherto ignored.
Highlanders unearthed another gem from the Ngodzo family in Joel, a player whose skills are similar to those of his brother Johannes.
The young star came in as a late show but there is no doubting his quality and he is one player to look out for next season.
If Highlanders’ and Caps’ resurgence is anything to go by, then there is every chance that the big three contest at the top could be back next season.
At the bottom Douglas Warriors and Victoria return to the lower league after only one season in the top-flight. For Victoria, the fallibility of their defence was their major undoing, conceding a massive 52 goals; No team in the league has managed to concede   as many going into Sunday matches.
Shabanie and Hwange made a return to the league and both will be well pleased by their log positions, having managed a place in next season’s BancABC Sup8r tournament.

 

Kevin Mapasure

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