With Zimbabwe Saints and Kiglon out of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, the other two teams could be confirmed by 5pm tomorrow.
A nerve-wracking finale is in store as — starting from ninth-placed Blue Ribbon, Masvingo United, Black Mambas, Monomotapa and Shabanie Mine to 14th placed Shooting Stars — all are in danger of being relegated.
Blue Ribbon face Mambas at Morris Depot, Masvingo travel to the Colliery for a date with Hwange, Monomotapa are at Barbourfields against Highlanders, Shooting Stars face Caps United at the National Sports Stadium while Shabanie Mine are at Luveve against Adam Ndlovu’s Chicken Inn.
Shooting Stars, in 14th place with 27 points could be the first to go if they lose to Caps United. A draw would leave them on 28 and if they win their last match, would move to 31, still not enough to save them if Shabanie beat Highlanders in their last home game.
Shabanie, 13th place and with 31 points, will be closer to maintaining their status quo if they beat Adam Ndlovu’s Chicken Inn at Luveve Stadium. They will move to 34 points.
In the event Monomotapa don’t lose to Bosso, Luke Masomere’s Shabanie will then need to beat the Bulawayo outfit in their last home game at Maglas.
Black Mambas and Blue Ribbon are not safe as well and the police side will all but survive with a win that will take them to 36 points, one ahead of Misheck Chidzambwa’s team.
Masvingo — coached by Ralph Kawondera and who visit the Colliery — will also be safe if they win and move to 37 points, if Shabanie, Monomotapa and Mambas fail to win their respective matches.
Harare now has eight teams in the league following the departure of Kiglon, who have been replaced by Harare City Council.
The Southern Region has six as Saints have also departed and have already been replaced by promoted Quelaton. Masvingo are generally considered to be in the Southern Region although their last campaign in Division One was in the eastern bloc.
The Midlands has two teams — Platinum and Shabanie Mine and could add a third if the asbestos miners survive and Hardbody who are resident in Gweru make the cut marking the return of Premiership football to the city.
Matabeleland South might bounce if second-placed team in the Central Soccer League after Hardbody, Tripple B win promotion.
They are based in Beitbridge, once the home of Underhill. Njube Sundowns who were based in Gwanda.
Given this scenario, there could be a fair spread of the game next season, from Harare, through Midlands to Bulawayo, Manicaland (Buffaloes), Matabeleland North, maybe Matabeleland South and Masvingo.
In the unlikely event the two teams to join Kiglon and Saints in relegation are not confirmed tomorrow, next Sunday’s last games will provide an exciting finale.
Masvingo clash with Monomotapa at Gwanzura. Shabanie are at home to Bosso. Blue Ribbon host Chicken Inn. Black Mambas square up against Motor Action.