in News, Sports / on November 22, 2013 at 11:42 am /
HARARE City starman Silas Songani is reeling from the pain of missing his club’s biggest game in history and has warned his teammates that nothing is guaranteed yet in their quest to beat CAPS United on Super Sunday and win their maiden Castle Lager Premiership championship.
The skilful midfielder will be missing from the crucial decider at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday after picking up a yellow card in their penultimate league game against Highlanders.
If ever they are to reflect on the turning point after winning this league championship, Harare City will look back to the game against Highlanders were Nathan Ziwini and Songani inspired the Sunshine Boys to a 4-0 destruction of Bosso.
Going into the match last weekend, Highlanders were at an advantage as a victory would have ended Harare City’s hopes of becoming champions.
But if Harare City are to lose the championship, they have to look at this game against CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Depending on the outcome of the matches on Sunday Dynamos, who face Black Mambas at Rufaro and Highlanders who host Shabanie, could end up as the 2013 league champions.
There is little doubt that the mobile phone networks will be busy as fans across the venues exchange updates on the drama that is likely to unfold that day.
The weather could also play a huge part, in the destiny of the championship race, just as it did eight years ago when a storm in Masvingo left Mucheke waterlogged and Dynamos scored the crucial winner, which destroyed the home team’s title hopes, after the ball was trapped on a muddy patch of the pitch.
Had Masvingo United won that day, with CAPS United losing 0-3 at the National Sports Stadium, it would have given Luke Masomere his second league title crown.
CAPS United team manager Gideon Mubayi, yesterday said his camp resembled a mobile hospital ward as more than five key players, including Tendai Samanja, Tapiwa Khumbuyani, Rahman Kutsanzira and Arnold Chivheya, were doubtful for the game.
Mubayi said CAPS United were aiming for a win that will get them a top four finish so that they could be eligible for invitational knockout tournaments next year and therefore will not be sitting ducks for Harare City.
“We are preparing well for the game so that we get a top four finish. I think we have shown an improvement this season and need to complete the season on a high note.
“However, our setback has been injuries to some of the players,” said Mubayi.
Right back Kumbuyani is nursing an ankle injury, while Chivheya aggravated his back with Samanja suffering from a sore-throat that kept him out of training.
“I know we should get able replacements. We targeting a top four finish so that we may play in some of the tournaments next year.
“The defeat against Black Rhinos affected us and I guess the boys had not recovered from the Mbada Diamonds Cup exit to How Mine,” said Mubayi.
CAPS United beat Motor Action last weekend and now have their pride to play for against Harare City. The Green Machine’s cause will be helped by the absence of Songani, who has been one of the standout players of the domestic Premiership this season.
“It’s a pity that I will not be playing in this game after getting a yellow card. All along I was sitting on two yellow cards and it was unfortunate that I got another card on Sunday.
“It pains me to be sitting in the terraces when I could have been part of the team but I know my heart will be with the guys,” said Songani.
Songani scored a brilliant effort, when he waltzed past Bosso skipper Innocent Mapuranga before beating Munyaradzi Diya as City raced to a comfortable 4-0 lead.
“I have been training with the rest of the guys even if I am not going to play. As a player, I have to remain fit and at the same time I was giving competition to the other guys.
“But I have confidence in the team that they will do well if we remain focused. It’s possible but it’s not going to be easy to win,” said Songani.
Songani, who cut his teeth at the now defunct La Liga in the Zifa Northern Region Division One League, challenged his teammates to rekindle the same spirit from their last game against Highlanders.
“We have to be determined to get a result. Some people did not give us a chance against Highlanders but we managed to utilise our chances. I just hope that the team will move a gear up from the last game,” said Songani.
The player, who grew up in Dzivaresekwa, is one of the front-runners for the 11 Soccer Stars of the Year finalists and has attributed his outstanding performance to hard work.
“I do practice those dead-balls, especially at the end of every training session, and the coaches gladly allow me the time. So we just need to work hard against CAPS United so that we do not miss this opportunity,” said Songani.
While the football gods have turned against Songani in Harare City’s biggest match, it’s not looking rosy either in the CAPS United camp.
Across town at Rufaro, Dynamos could also be crowned champions if Harare City falter at the National Sports Stadium while Bosso also stagger at Barbourfields.
Dynamos need to beat Black Mambas and then hope for CAPS United to either hold or beat the Sunshine Boys. However, Black Mambas know that a defeat could endanger their status in the Premiership and they need, at least, a draw to be certain of survival.
Black Mambas assistant coach Martin Bonongwe said they were confident of getting a point against Dynamos after the first meeting ended in a stalemate at Morris Depot.
“So far we are confident of getting a good result and our preparations have been going on well,” said Bonongwe.
“If we lose, then that we have to depend on the results from the other games.”
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