Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
THE Castle League Premier Soccer League Championship went to the wire yesterday with the top three teams – Dynamos, Highlanders and Harare City- finishing level on 54 points but Dynamos clinched the title for a record 20th time courtesy of superior goal difference.
Not only that, DeMbare also became the first team to win the Championship for the third consecutive year and by superior goal difference on each occasion.
Dynamos pipped FC Platinum in 2011, bettered Highlanders in similar fashion last year and yesterday edged Harare City to clinch their 20th title in dramatic fashion.
Dynamos son, Callisto Pasuwa effectively sealed his place in the Dynamos Hall of Fame after a riveting contest that was only decided with the sound of final whistles in three stadiums spread across the country’s two major cities.
DeMbare went into battle yesterday with the fate of the championship in the hands of Harare City, and their victory was made even more remarkable by the fact that it was their third straight league title that came by virtue of| superior goal difference.
In a season in which the Glamour Boys have cried out loud and clear of a conspiracy by referees against their cause, winning this championship in dramatic fashion will certainly make it taste even sweeter.
Harare City will wonder long and hard how they blew this one when the stage appeared to have been set for success they had even booked an after match title celebration party at Jazz 105.
Credit should of course be given to Dynamos’ bitter rivals, CAPS United for the way they raised the spirit of Fair Play a notch higher with a performance full of commitment at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
But in the end the championship always goes to the team that deserves it the most and this Glamour Boys side built their foundation for success on key good results against their main opposition – Highlanders, CAPS United and Harare City.
Like Manchester United, Dynamos now have 20 league titles and that is good company isn’t it?
A first half brace by striker Simba Sithole not only set the tone for Dynamos’ finest hour this season but also helped condemn Black Mambas to the less glamorous Division One League as they became the fourth team to be relegated from the Premiership.
There was no doubting, however, that the afternoon belonged to Pasuwa who overcame odds staked heavily against him to cruise to his third successive championship title and write his own piece of history.
Pasuwa, who struggled to hold back tears, paid tribute to his players for their determination and the Warriors assistant coach, a devout Christian of the Johanne Masowe we Chishanu sect, attributed their dramatic win to “the work of God’’.
“This is all God’s work . . . I had a lot of challenges in this championship race and from day one we were the team to beat because every team worked hard to try and beat us. There was a time when even some within our club didn’t trust what I said when I complained about the treatment we got from referees, especially in our away games and thought I was just offering excuses.
“But I want to thank God for all this because he had a special plan for us and this is not about my wisdom. I also want to thank all those who prayed for us and everyone who supported us.
“Some people questioned the character of this team and during the season we suffered a number of setbacks but I want to salute my players for remaining united and dedicated.
“There was a time when divisions had emerged in the first 10 games given that we failed to win our first five games but I sat them down and told them to unite and express their talents and once we regained our focus, the results started to come and here we are, we are champions again,’’ Pasuwa said.
Pasuwa also paid tribute to the Dynamos management for sticking by him when the pressured intensified with some section of the fans calling for the coach’s head.
“After our slow start to the season, there was pressure on the executive to fire the technical crew but the executive had trust in us and I am happy we have managed to repay them by winning the championship’’.
Interestingly the Dynamos leadership yesterday chose to dedicate this championship to Pasuwa whom they felt “deserved it more than anybody else at the club’’.
Club secretary-general Webster Chikengezha said his management was also basking in the glory of becoming the first DeMbare leadership to lead the Harare giants to three successive championship titles.
“We had a lot of pressure especially after the first seven games of the season. I am happy that today we have done it and we are the first executive to win the league three times in a row but more importantly would like to dedicate this title to our coach. He was under a lot of pressure but he has proven to be one of the best coaches we have in the country.
“We now want to ensure that we retain at least 90 percent of the players we have so that there is continuity and we won’t have to build another team for the 2014 season,’’ said Chikengezha.
Pasuwa’s third successive triumph also means that Dynamos, runners up in 1998 and semi-finalists in 2008, will take another crack at the Champions League where they have been struggling of late.