A test of endurance for league players

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IT has been a busy week for the 16 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League teams.
Soon after the Mbada Diamonds Cup first round matches, teams had midweek league fixtures to fulfil before another round of fixtures during the weekend.
Endurance could be the test for the players this week as the teams play in Week 23 of the PSL.
It was bad luck for travellers as Dynamos and FC Platinum were beaten in their encounters at Hwange and Bulawayo respectively. Dynamos lost 2-4 to Hwange at the Colliery while FC Platinum lost 1-2 to Highlanders.
Though the loss to Hwange did not affect the defending champions’ log position, they are one point ahead of Highlanders who are on 40 points from 22 matches.
Harare City are also on 40 points after they were held to a one-all draw by visitors Shabanie.
Harare City got their solitary goal through Nathan Ziwini before Pervington Zimunya equalised in the second half to hand the BancABC Sup8r Champions the crucial point.
With the league entering the home stretch, competition is reaching boiling point at the top of the log.
Dynamos’ loss was a major boost to Highlanders who are a point shy of the log leaders together with Harare City.
This week the chuff will be separated from the grain as the fixtures have a major bearing on the title race.
Any team that drops points at this crucial stage may never regain its position.
CAPS United dented their chance of landing the title when they were held to a one-all draw by Gishon Ntini’s Triangle FC at the National Sports Stadium. The draw left CAPS United on fourth position with 36 points.
They are trailing the log leaders by six points.
Defending champions now face an unpredictable Monomotapa FC at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday. The Glamour boys will use home advantage to collect maximum points against Monoz.
Dynamos have dominated in most clashes between the two Harare sides.
Dynamos goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi and midfielder Russell Madamombe will be meeting their former paymasters Monoz if they get a chance to play.
Madamombe missed the Hwange game as he was serving a one match ban. Jaure is also expected to return from one match suspension.
Monoz on the other hand will be looking for maximum points as they are occupying a precarious position on the log.
Highlanders travel to Mutare for a date against Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium as they seek to close in on Dynamos. Highlanders are desperately in need of another victory to keep pressure on the defending champions.
Elsewhere, Harare City will be facing a stubborn Chicken Inn at Luveve Stadium tomorrow as the municipal side aim for their maiden league title.
Shabanie Mine host CAPS United at Maglas Stadium in a match that may go either way. United are also in need of a win so as to keep within range of the league title.
CAPS United have been bad travellers and Maglas fortress is a tricky venue as many teams have failed to collect maximum points at the stadium.
With the Doctor-of-football, Luke Masomere, in charge, Taurai Mangwiro and his technical team will need to work hard to come up with a winning formula.
Relegation candidate Tripple B will be at Dulibadzimu Stadium where they host FC Platinum who are coming from a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Highlanders.
Lloyd Mutasa will be in need of maximum points as he seeks to win favour from the disgruntled FC Platinum supporters. With some of the best players in the country, the team has not been scoring major successes in the league and Cup games.
They lost to Shabanie Mine in the BancABC final and were booted out of the Mbada Diamonds Cup. The match is equally important for both teams.
How Mine who managed to secure an away draw in Mutare against Buffaloes on Wednesday will battle another army side Black Rhinos at Luveve on Sunday. How Mine have been a formidable side in their maiden premier league season.
Black mambas host bottom-placed Motor Action at Morris Depot tomorrow while Triangle host Hwange on Sunday at Gibbo fortress.

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