Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS coach Lloyd Mutasa has warned rivals that his Glamour Boys will not sit on their laurels in the championship homestretch after opening a three-point lead at the top of the table at the weekend.
The league competition will take a short break this week to pave the way for the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals. DeMbare beat Harare City 2-1 at the National Sports Stadium to open a three-point gap after their rivals Chicken Inn, FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars all faltered.
The Premiership title has been reduced to a four-horse race with DeMbare on 56 points followed by Ngezi Platinum Stars and FC Platinum who are on 53 points apiece with seven rounds of matches remaining. Chicken Inn, who led the race for a lengthy period before they were dislodged by DeMbare two weeks ago, slipped into fourth place after a 4-0 hiding at Highlanders on Sunday. They have 51 points.
Interestingly, the top four teams have been eliminated from this year’s edition of the Chibuku Super Cup at the first round and have now set their eyes on the league championship. With 21 points to play for, the race is still open.
“Obviously we are taking it one game at a time. I think if you look at what happened during these past three weeks there were a lot of teams dropping points and we are saying we want to be cautious, we want to take each game as it comes but probably what we can assure the institution is that this year we are going to do better than we did last year,” said Mutasa.
“For now, we will not relax because of the three-point gap. It’s only the difference of a match. You know three points is one game so you cannot be in a position to breath hence we are saying we are taking every game seriously and try as much as we can to get the points.”
Chicken Inn, Ngezi Platinum Stars and FC Platinum had another disappointing round of matches. The Gamecocks crashed to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Highlanders and it meant they have now lost their last three matches since the 2-1 defeat to newboys Yadah last month.
FC Platinum were held 1-1 by CAPS United at their Mandava home ground to follow up the disappointing midweek outing in which they were also held to a goalless draw by Yadah. Tonderai Ndiraya’s Ngezi have also been experiencing a see-saw run-in and the 0-0 home draw against lowly placed Tsholotsho was a blow to their progress after they had collected maximum points in the 2-0 win over ZPC Kariba in their previous game away from home.
But Dynamos had also missed a great opportunity to extend their lead at the top when they suffered a 1-1 draw at Shabanie after conceding a late goal at Maglas.
DeMbare have been poor in the second half this season, conceding late goals. The demons almost came back to haunt them against Harare City when Martin Vengesai scored deep in injury time and they had to hold their nerve in the tense final minutes as the Sunshine Boys threatened to spoil the day for them.
“I think it’s another lapse of concentration. We have to try and push all the way but this is the reason why we have always said we are an attacking team. If we cannot be able to defend 90 minutes so let’s attack, let’s try to get as many goal as we can. That second goal made the difference,” said Mutasa.
Harare City coach Philani Ncube felt DeMbare were fortunate to escape with maximum points.
“One thing for sure is that as long as you are on top of the log the confidence also build. We never had any threat from Dynamos but they scored. When we were in control of the game they scored. When we were looking for an equaliser they scored. So actually they never gave us a threat. The results are saying we lost but performance-wise we were better than them,” said Ncube.