The battle of Zimbabwe is a soccer rivalry between the two biggest football clubs in the country, Highlanders FC and Dynamos FC soccer teams. The rivalry pre-dates the current teams in both cities, Highlanders and Dynamos FC, back in the 1960s after the formation of Dynamos in 1963, and has since grown into one of the largest and most bitter rivalries in Zimbabwe soccer.
By Tongai Mwenje
The rivalry has spanned across several leagues including the Northern Division, Southern Division and Eastern Division. According to many players, the Highlanders- Dynamos rivalry is one of the only true derbies that is present in Zimbabwean football. Ofcourse, there is the Caps United-Dynamos rivalry but the former rivalry is considered to be one of the most intense rivalries in Zimbabwe.
Highlanders and Dynamos have met several times in the last decade and Highlanders has been on the receiving end to date. Few weeks ago, the two teams met at Rufaro Stadium in a tightly contested match which saw Dynamos triumphing after some questionable refereeing. Highlanders were robbed of a deserved point away to Dynamos after a legitimate goal was inexplicably chalked off for offside by assistant referee, Bongani Gadzikwa, from Murewa.
Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu, whose team battled valiantly, especially in the second half, blasted: “It’s sad really. We can’t have results cooked like what happened today.”
Mafu also felt Augustine Mbara, who fouled Obadiah Tarumbwa to earn Highlanders the opening goal from the spot, should have seen red, not the yellow card he was shown by controversial referee Norman Matemera. These facts and fights point to one thing, RIVALRY.
The final whistle saw the Harare giants walking away with three points in their bag, cementing its dominance over its rivalry. The game ended 3: 2 in favor of Dynamos.
The return match is on tomorrow, the 26th of July 2015. Fans are expecting to witness another exciting match and hopefully this time around the referee will not spoil the broth. The battle this time will be in Bulawayo at Barbourfields. The starting time is 1500hrs.