Zimbabwean football followers have borne witness to nerve-wracking end of season action in the last five seasons, save for 2015 when Chicken Inn won the title in the penultimate fixture.
The 2016 season seems headed the same road with the top three teams only separated by a mere four points, with a massive 15 points still to play for.
FC Platinum may be on top but they cannot afford to drop any points while second placed Caps United, who are close second, only a point adrift, win.
Highlanders’ resurgence from a seven-game winless streak epitomises the spirit often touted to be synonymous with Champions. On a number of occasions, the Bulawayo giants trailed but they have wrestled from losing positions with a determination that has made their fans believe that maybe this is their time to return to the top.
Identical 2-1 victories against Border Strikers (Away), Dynamos (Home) and Ngezi Platinum (Home) were all fashioned from inspired second-half smash and grab performances.
Highlanders’ late arrival at the title party complicates the matrix further because now even Caps United are constantly looking down at their rival, only three points behind but in red-hot form.
Holders Chicken Inn are in 6th place, 15 points away from the top and the title is already beyond them.
Dynamos’ four-year monopoly of the title was successfully challenged by Chicken in who won their maiden premiership title in 2015 with a game to spare.
Unlike DeMbare who won each of their four consecutive league titles on the final day of action, Chicken Inn had the luxury to play the 30th match with nothing other than pride to play for.
It remains to be seen whether the top two will manage to keep up with Highlanders’ surge towards the top.
Five wins on the trot makes Highlanders the fiercest of the title contenders but Caps United are not far off, their only blemish in the last five games being a nil all draw against ZPC Kariba.
FC Platinum on the other hand managed just two wins and three draws.
Focus shifts to cup football this weekend where the last eight battle for a place in the semi-finals.
Harare giants Caps United and Dynamos were among the early casualties while reigning Champions Harare City are still in contention to retain the ticket into the second tier of Africa’s inter-club football.
Winners of the Chibuku Super Cup will represent Zimbabwe in the CAF Confederations Cup.
Highlanders have the opportunity of rescuing a season that appeared to be a lost cause six league games ago by winning the Chibuku super Cup, and probably staging an audacious coup on Caps United and FC Platinum for the coveted Championship.
Chibuku Super Cup Fixtures
Saturday: ZPC Kariba vs Harare City (Nyamhunga), Ngezi Platinum vs Tsholotsho (Baobab)
Sunday: How Mine vs Highlanders (Barbourfields), Triangle vs FC Platinum (Gibbo)