In games like athletics and swimming, the competitor who is first to the finishing line is the one who gets the ultimate prize and goes home with gold.
But in a football league, it is points that matter. If teams tie on points, they are separated by goal difference to determine who carries the day.
The 2016 TNM Super League season has been very unpredictable right from the start, such that one cannot clearly predict which team will emerge victorious at the end.
Based on the instability of teams in the top five bracket of the league’s log table, one can easily be tempted to conclude that the champion will be determined on goal difference or by a very slender points margin.
Silver Strikers, Nyasa Big Bullets, Blue Eagles, Mafco and Kamuzu Barracks (KB) have all been at the summit of the table at one time or another.
On average, the five teams have been exchanging the league’s number one position almost every week.
None of the five can claim to have held on to the top position for more than two weeks in the second round of the league.
And what is even more interesting is the fact that only one to two points have separated the five gladiators on numerous occasions.
The five have three matches to wind up their season and four, with Mafco faltering, are very much in the running for the crown come month end.
Lilongwe giants Kamuzu Barracks and Blue Eagles are engaged in a match of the week tomorrow at Nankhaka with the Area 30 cops needing full points the most.
At 52 points and leading the sixteen-team pack, Kamuzu Barracks can ill-afford to lose the match if they are serious about winning the title.
With just a point behind the soldiers, Blue Eagles can rise to 54 points to claim the top position.
But that will also depend on what happens between Bullets and Dwangwa United who meet on the same day.
Bullets will also shoot to 54 points should they win, with Silver, who are also in action tomorrow against Karonga United, assured of 53 points on winning the match.
Mafco have faltered after a promising run until mid-way through the second half.
A win against Civo will take them to 50 points and they will still be trailing behind the quartet.
And in a game to be played this afternoon, Civo are hoping to escape the chop with four games to go.
The civil servants remain the only team that has played the least number of games.
But Head Coach Charles Manda believes that his team will perform well enough in the remaining games to remain in the elite league.
“We may not be performing well, but we have the capacity to escape relegation. I will take the team back to where it belongs,” Manda said.
Be Forward Wanderers are also in action as they aim at finishing in the paid ranks having given up the title chase.
The Nomads, who lie sixth with 44 points, host Moyale at Surestream Stadium.
Third from bottom Karonga United will also have to collect maximum points in Lilongwe this weekend to survive relegation.
The lakeshore side meets Epac today and Silver tomorrow.
On the other end, regional leagues are expected to produce champions who will automatically earn promotion to the elite league for next season.
Chitipa United, Blantyre United and Master Security are the likely candidates to join the Super League as they continue to lead with several games to go before the end of the season
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