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Saints relegated

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Zimbabwe Saints . . . (0) 1
Black Mambas . . . . . (0) 1

Troubled Zimbabwe Saints have been relegated from the Premiership. Their fate was sealed after failing to hold on to a 65th minute penalty by veteran Chipo Tsodzo, allowing Black Mambas to equalise in a Castle Lager Premiership match that was delayed by 35 minutes as the hosts arrived late for the match at White City Stadium.

Chikwata now have 24 points from 28 matches and winning their last two matches will end them on 30 points, which will not save them from the chop.

They play their last two matches against equally-troubled Kiglon (away) and Caps United at home as a formality.

Financially-troubled Chikwata arrived at the match venue 10 minutes after the 3pm kick-off time and the players took time in the changing rooms before the match started at 3:35pm.

The delay was allegedly caused by players who refused to travel to the match venue before they were paid their dues until some members of the executive successfully negotiated with them.

However, some senior players who included Tapela “Cyclone” Ngwenya, Nkosilathi Dube, Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu, Gift Phiri and Fortune Nyambosi watched the match from the terraces.

Match commissioner Thabani Mnkantjo said Zimbabwe Saints did not give a valid reason for the delay. They were, however, allowed to play as they arrived at the match venue 20 minutes after kick-off time.

Head coach Ephraim Chawanda also watched from the terraces saying the players informed him they had been told by the team’s organising secretary Jabulani Chinyangarara not to take any instructions from him and he decided to pull.

Admore Sibanda was in charge of Chikwata. However, Chinyangarara, said he was not aware of the said instruction and added he could not comment on the team’s delay.

Tsodzo converted from the penalty spot after Mambas’ defender Kasimero Chimbadzwa handled inside the box, while Warumwa Warumwa levelled the scoreline 14 minutes before fulltime through substitute Tatenda Magaisa after he was set up by Proud Khumalo from a Sebastian Mutizirwa move.

Teams

Zimbabwe Saints: M Diya, S Linyama, E Rusike (J Nyama 60th minute), A Mbaiwa, T Kombora, I Munganiwa (K Sibanda 79th minute), M Phakathi, N Murisa (C Ndebele 53rd minute), C Tsodzo, T Munyaradzi
Black Mambas: L Jere, A Amidu, G Chikweva, K Chimbadzwa, C Hungwe, L Kaisa, P Khumalo, P Muswere, S Mutizirwa, I Nyoni (T Magaisa 75th minute) F Banda

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