IF an entire town has ever come to a standstill, because of a football match in Zimbabwe, it is going to happen on Saturday.
The mining and farming town of Chegutu will literally come to a halt on Saturday when it hosts the biggest match in the ZIFA Northern Region Division One championship race this season.
Chegutu Pirates, also known as Zaire or Dzinza, are probably the most supported football club in all the country’s lower leagues.
On Saturday, they will plunge into the biggest game in their history when they host Black Mambas at Pfupajena in a winner-take-all showdown.
“We have never seen anything like that, it’s what dreams are made of,” said Pirates fan, Milton Chikumbo.
“Zaire at home, with just a 90-minute challenge to win a game and get a place in the Premier League.
“This is huge and you can feel the excitement in our town, if we had the National Sports Stadium as our home ground, we would fill it with 60 000 fans that day.”
Jimu Gwara and Peter Bhero have been influential for the Pirates.
Coach Emmanuel Day Gutu has taken his men within shooting distance of a dance with glory and a win will see them going top with just one match still to be played.
They have won their last SIX games on the bounce, including a 2-1 away win over Omnia on Saturday, which took them within two points of the leaders Mambas.
The police side have 67 points while the Pirates have 65 points.
At the beginning of last month, the difference between the two clubs was seven points but Mambas have taken only one out of a possible six points, in their last two games.
The Pirates have taken 18 out of a possible 18 points in their last SIX games.
Mambas will also be crowned champions if they win the decider while a draw will also suit them with just one round of fixtures to be played.
But, Chegutu Pirates have been the form team and, powered by the most passionate fans in the league, they have their best chance to win and take control of the race.
“We have never hosted a game like this one and our recent history isn’t a good one because it has been all about hooliganism at Pfupajena leading us to be banned from playing our match at home on a number of occasions,” said Chikumbo.
“Now, we have a chance to make sure we write a beautiful chapter and Zaire in the Premier League, this sounds like a dream.”