AFTER days in which local football has redefined the word “incredible,” the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title race enters the final chapter of another extraordinary season.
Former champions CAPS United, the odds on favourite, will retain the title should they defeat Dynamos (home), Ngezi Platinum Stars (away), and FC Platinum (home) in their last three fixtures of the season.
Makepekepe lead the race with 55 points with Chicken Inn and FC Platinum tied on 53 points.
But in a week in which Makepekepe’s chief rivals Chicken Inn and FC Platinum bounced back into the championship matrix in the most dramatic of circumstances following the log leader’s failure to seize the momentum by blowing away a golden opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table after surrendering a two-goal advantage against Yadah, one can perhaps forgive Green Machine fans for feeling slightly apprehensive.
To that end, the next three weeks should provide the domestic elite league with a script crafted in heaven as both the title race and the battle to avoid the dreaded chop, are likely to push to the last day of the season.
Bulawayo Chiefs occupy the last relegation slot and in several matches they have offered big in way of a scare factor for several PSL clubs with FC Platinum being their latest victims.
For Chiefs, without a win in their last two games, the only highlight being a home draw against fellow relegation candidates Hwange, should they instead gain a result against second-placed Chicken Inn at the weekend, then the Premier League title could be off to the green half of the capital.
The fact that Gamecocks still have to face relegation threatened sides — Herentals (away) and TelOne (home) — means Joey Antipas’ men have mountains to move if they are to return to the championship winners podium after four years.
If defending champions FC Platinum, fresh from that astonishing victory against Mushowani Stars and hard fought goalless draw against in-form Highlanders at Mandava, come to the party when they meet Chapungu (away), Black Rhinos (home) and CAPS United (away), then, at this decisive stage of the season, the fight for the country’s top football accolade can easily be code named “Hail in Cell”, “Armageddon” or “Money in the Bank Ladder Challenge”.
Three rounds of matches left
vs Ngezi Platinum-away
vs FC Platinum-home
vs Bulawayo Chiefs-away
vs Black Rhinos-home
vs CAPS United-away