‘Battle of Zimbabwe Part 1’ explodes into life

Charles Mabika On the Ball
ALL talk about the World Cup takes a momentary break today . . . well, until approximately 5.30pm.
Why? As if you didn’t know!“The Battle of Zimbabwe Part 1” for this season explodes into life at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon where perennial rivals Dynamos and Highlanders clash in another crucial Castle Lager Premiership battle.

The country’s top protagonists always make every other tie on the same day play second-fiddle whenever they mount the stage for bragging rights.

Well, for the past seven years, those soprano notes have belonged to “De Mbare”, who has wielded the sharp end of their blue axe convincingly over their enemies.

But all that could change today if current form is anything to go by.
Bosso are one of only two teams still unbeaten so far – the other side being ZPC Kariba – and are four points ahead of Dynamos, who have lost four times this season.

It is this impressive run that has etched its bold lettering in the hearts and minds of the black and white army’s supporters.

They are also claiming that the artistry of wonder boy Kuda “Nkembe” Mahachi down the wings will carry the day and bludgeon that long-standing hoodoo into submission.

On the other hand, the blue masses maintain that despite their team’s apparent bad start, when it comes to a showdown with Highlanders, there can only be one victor, their beloved Glamour Boys!

So the question is: Does current form matter in this “Battle of Zimbabwe?” Both sides’ coaches – Highlanders’ Kelvin “KK” Kaindu and Dynamos’ Kallisto “Manabhun” Pasuwa – reckon it does not and has never counted for anything, even long before they were around.

I think the two inspirational opposing players today – Mahachi and Stephen “Powerman” Alimenda – will decide this game’s outcome.

So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to rumble!

* * *
Thank God, ZPC Kariba’s attacking midfielder Raphael Manuvire’s career will continue.
The exciting player, who is nicknamed “Gochi-Gochi” by the club’s fans because “he roasts the opposition”, was cruelly stamped upon his left leg by Chapungu’s Blessed Mbavarira, in a league clash at Gwanzura a fortnight ago.
Recent Press reports quoted the ZPC Kariba’s spokesperson, Fadzai Chisveto, as saying that initial scan reports had revealed that Manuvire had not suffered any serious injury.

Further tests though, according to Chisveto, will be carried out in the next four weeks, but the Kauya Katuruturu talisman will definitely miss the remainder of the season’s first half.

Just what Mbavarira thought he was doing in that moment of madness will always remain a distasteful mystery to every one of us.

Some people have said that the tackle was a result of sheer frustration after the “Waru Waru” marker had been continuously ripped apart by Manuvire’s trickery!

For me, that’s complete balderdash because if that was true, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Yaya Toure would have been in wheelchairs right now! There was absolutely no excuse for that callous reaction and I hope that Mbavarira personally apologies to Manuvire so that Gochi Gochi can forgive him and even one day invite him to a braai laden with the delicious and crispy Kariba bream!

* * *
So the six-year golden era of flourishing and delicious Spanish delight is over, hey?
The whole world watched with shock and horror as the 2010 World Cup champions were sent crashing out of the soccer extravaganza by underdogs Chile last Wednesday evening with two well-taken goals by the South Americans.

From 2008 until that fateful 2-nil shocker, “La Furia Roja” had held the whole world spellbound with their “tiki-taka” brand of football which was punctuated by a faultless rearguard of Gerald Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Alvaro Arbeloa and marshalled by captain and ’keeper, “St  Iker” Casillas.

The midfield combination of Andries Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandes, Xabi Alonso and the predatory finishes of Spain’s all-time goalscorer David Villa and Cesc Fabregas completed an inimitable cast that was led by affable director Vicente del Bosque.

Everyone on this planet knows that everything comes to an end and for sure, last Wednesday, the greatest Spanish soccer squad ever assembled reached the end of a marvellous era, in which they had swept everything on offer in those illustrious eight years.

On behalf of all the world’s appreciative and neutral spectators, I’d like to thank del Bosque’s crew for giving us a truly delightful and impeccable fiesta of football displays that will linger forever in our memories!

If the great Leonard Dembo was still around, he surely would have lent the lyrics of his timeless blockbuster, “Chitekete”, to the effervescent and hypnotic flow of this now vanquished Spanish ensemble.
Now, on an African note, I don’t know if, as Nwanko Kanu had boldly predicted, the World Cup will still come to Africa this time around.

With the exception of Cote d’Ivoire, who now appear as our only hope of at least getting to the knock-out stage, our other four representatives have all faltered, with Cameroon buckling in ill-discipline and shame as they crashed 4-0 against Croatia.

Let’s hope The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire can trample upon and sink the Pirate Ship of Greece in that crucial last group encounter on Tuesday evening and make it into the last 16.

* * *
Anybody out there remember “The Mbare Arrow”? I’m talking about Benjamin Marere, the forgotten, former Dynamos and FC Platinum winger, who’s now re-discovered his form at top-flight side How Mine.
Marere scored “Chikurupati’s” second goal in that 2-1 midweek thriller at Sakubva last week and boy, oh boy, what a beauty it was!
Remember to take care of your loved ones and each other. It’s bye bye for now.

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