The Dynamos-Caps United Harare derby has always been regarded as the country’s most anticipated football encounter but yesterday’s classic clash between the two giants elevated the fever to new heights.
It was on a fine sunny Saturday afternoon when loyal football fans rekindled their love with the official sport of the nation, on a day that should remain etched in the minds of many a football fan.
Despite the defeat, eccentric Caps United fan Edmore Chinyere of Warren Park said yesterday’s encounter was one of the best that he had seen.
“We might have lost but this was a memorable day. We played better than Dynamos for most parts of the game and I enjoyed the electric atmosphere in the stadium.”
Even with plaster on his leg, loyal Dynamos fan “Chuchu”, managed to make his way into the stadium.
“I couldn’t miss this game for anything in the world, including the death of my wife.”
Former Warriors pin-up boy Shingi Kawondera once again sent a bold statement that he still has so much to say on the field of play with some magical touches that sent a packed Rufaro Staduim, the ceremonial home of football, into a frenzy.
Outside the pitch, football paraphenalia was hot property on the market as the sprawling suburb of Mbare was transformed into a sea of blue and green.
Dynamos manager Richard Chihoro added an interesting twist to the carnival after he took some snuff and blew it on the football pitch after halftime, a bold statement that his team wanted to win the match at all costs.
Although the official kick-off was 3.30pm the hype started in the early morning as fans from all corners of the country made their way to Rufaro Staduim.
By mid afternoon, navigating from Mbare into the CBD had already become an onerous task.
But by now, teams should be aware on how to handle games of this magnitude as there were chaotic scenes at the entrance point with many supporters finding their way into the stadium well after the match had already started.
Such scenes turn away the supporters from the beautiful game as it becomes dangerous to take your family to such outings. It is a fact that football is a family sport.
But far from the calamitous scenario outside, the game itself was a fantastic spectacle, which reached its climax towards the end of the second half.
Special mention goes to the two respective centre-backs Patson Jaure of Dynamos and Blessing Zabula of Caps United who showed glimpses of football mastery and that they are really the future of Zimbabwean football.
But without doubt, the day belonged to old horse Kawondera, the most valuable player on view, who reminded the football fans that he still has that touch of class in his boots. Unfortunately, he had to be substituted towards the end of the second half, and interestingly, things began falling apart on the green side of town.
Football stakeholders should build on this momentum to put their houses in order and repay the confidence vote shown by the supporters.
At least a mini league phase qualification for Zimbabwe’s CAF Champions League represantatives next season, or a qualification for the African Cup of nations for
the senior national team will atone for the perennial disappointment fans are subjected to.