- DeMbare on course for record points tally
- Resurgent Bosso smell blood in lively hunt
By Robson Sharuko
The explosive battle between Dynamos and Highlanders, the first head-to-head confrontation for the championship featuring the country’s two most successful football clubs in 13 years, is turning into an absorbing quality showdown that could smash records along the way.
Not since Bosso edged DeMbare to the championship by just a point, in an unforgettable ‘98/’99 season, have the two biggest clubs in the country found themselves locked in such a fierce and riveting battle for the league title in the home stretch.
Although the two giants featured in the race for the 2007 championship, it was never a nervy and close affair and that Dynamos eventually won that race, by a huge nine-point cushion, puts their superiority into context that season.
This year, it’s turning into a battle royale.
Dynamos are already on course to bag their highest points tally in a season, in the era of the modern Premiership, in an epic battle for the championship that has already pushed last year’s thrilling marathon into the shade.
Highlanders cannot surpass their 30-game benchmark of 72 points they set en-route to winning the championship in the ‘98/’99 and 2002 season, but such has been the quality of their campaign this year they can end up just a point short of that club landmark tally.
Although Bosso racked 78 points, when they won the championship in 2000, the Premiership was a 20-team league, in that year alone, instead of the traditional 16-teams that have been its family.
Dynamos needed 58 points to be champions last year, edging FC Platinum on goal difference after a photo-finish, but after just 24 games this season, the Glamour Boys have already bagged 55 points, just three shy of their entire points harvest last season.
With six games still to play this year, and 18 points in the balance, Dynamos can end up with 73 points, if they win all their outstanding matches, and that would be two points more than the benchmark of 71 they set in coming second in the ‘98/’99 season.
DeMbare’s highest points tally, in winning the championship, was the 68 points they bagged in ’97 and, with half-a-dozen matches still to be played this season, they have a good chance of overhauling that total in marching to be champions.
Such has been the quality of this year’s championship battle that both Dynamos and Highlanders have significantly improved, in terms of the points on the board, compared to where the two giants were at this stage last season.
Dynamos, in terms of points on the board, have enjoyed a 13.88 percent swing for the better, at this point of the season compared to last year, while Highlanders have enjoyed a massive 20.84 percent swing for the better.
After 24 games last season, Dynamos were on 45 points, having won 13, drawn six and lost five matches, scoring 34 goals and conceding 13.
This season, the Glamour Boys, after 24 games, are on 55 points, having won 17 games, drawn four, lost three, scored 46 and conceded 11 which, in terms of points in the bag, represent a 13.88 percent swing for the better.
After 24 games last year, Highlanders were sitting on just 38 points, having won 11 games, drawn five and lost eight, scoring 23 goals and conceding 16.
This season, Bosso, after the same number of games, are sitting on 53 points, having won 15, drawn eight, lost just one, scored 41 goals and conceded 14 for a 20.84 percent swing for the better in terms of points in the bag.
Interestingly, for all the improvement that Dynamos have undergone, in terms of the quality of their challenge this season, the Glamour Boys are yet to get a penalty in 24 league matches, representing a cool 2 160 minutes or exactly 36 hours of football action.
Coach Callisto Pasuwa, who was greeted with a penalty in his first match in charge of Dynamos when they thumped Shooting Stars 4-1 on August 14 last year, which Rodreck Mutuma converted in the 70th minute, has not had such luck with spot-kicks this year.
Last year, Dynamos got a penalty as early as the sixth game of their league campaign in a 5-1 triumph over Masvingo United at Rufaro on May 1, which defender
David Kutyauripo converted.
By the end of that month, the Glamour Boys had received their second penalty, in the first game against Shooting Stars, which midfielder Devon Chafa converted for a 1-0 victory.
More penalties came for Dynamos along the season with one coming in their 2-0 win over Monomotapa in a crucial league match in October before they got another in a 3-0 victory over Shooting Stars in a Mbada Diamonds Cup tie at Maglas in Zvishavane.
But the Glamour Boys haven’t been lucky with spot-kicks this season, as they are yet to get one, but such has been the quality of their performance that, in just 24 games, they have already scored more league goals (46) than they scored in the entire campaign, over 30 games, last season.
It’s interesting to note, too, that the number of wins, draws and losses for Dynamos in their campaign this season are identical, but in reverse order, to bottom club Quelaton in their campaign this year.
DeMbare have won 17 games, Quelaton have lost 17. Dynamos have lost three matches, Quelaton have won three games. DeMbare have drawn four matches,
Quelaton have also drawn four games.
Even the goals scored and goals conceded look a little bit similar — Dynamos have scored 46, Quelaton have conceded 45, DeMbare have conceded 12 goals while the Bulawayo side have scored 14 goals.
Last season, the Glamour Boys’ 25th league match of the season was away from home and they crashed to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Masvingo United at Mucheke.
This season, Dynamos’ 25th league tie of the season is away from home as they face Hwange at the Colliery and, just like Masvingo before them, the coalminers could win that game and end up being relegated.
Last season, Highlanders’ 25th league match was at home at Barbourfields against Shooting Stars who were then languishing a place above the bottom-placed team.
This season, Bosso’s 25th league tie of the season is at Barbourfields again and they face a Black Mambas team also battling for their survival in the top-flight league. The Herald
- Dynamos have scored FOUR more goals (46), in 24 league matches this season, than the 42 goals they scored, in 30 league matches, on their way to the league championship last year.
- DeMbare have won as many games (17), in 24 league matches, as they did all season, in 30 league matches, on their way to league championship glory last season.
- Dynamos have won FOUR more games (17), at this stage of the season, when compared to the 13 games they had won by this stage of the campaign last season.
- DeMbare have drawn THREE less games, lost TWO less games, scored 12 more goals and conceded TWO less goals, when compared to this stage last season.
- Dynamos are TEN points better (55), after 24 games, when compared to the same period (45), after 24 games, last season.
- Highlanders have won THREE more games (15), in 24 matches, than they won in 30 league matches (12), the whole of last season.
- Bosso have drawn one more game, in 24 matches, than the EIGHT they drew in 30 games last season. After 24 matches last year, Bosso had FIVE draws, now they have EIGHT.
- After 30 games last year, Highlanders lost 11 games, now in 24 games, Bosso have only lost ONE game.
- In 30 games last season, Bosso scored 27 goals, now in 24 games, they have already scored 41 goals, a huge plus difference of 14 goals, with six games still to be played.
- In 30 games last year, Bosso conceded 24 goals, now they have just conceded 14 in 24 games.
- Highlanders have won FOUR games more, in 24 matches compared to last year, drawn THREE games more, lost SEVEN games less, scored 18 goals more and conceded TWO goals less and have 15 more points than at this stage last year.
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