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Monomotapa, Masvingo fight for survival


Former champions Monomotapa entertain Masvingo United in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League make or break relegation tie at Rufaro Stadium today.

A draw will save both teams from relegation and condemn Shabanie Mine to Division One even if they beat Highlanders at Maglas Stadium.

Word around town is that a deal is already in place to save both teams similar to last week’s 6-0 drubbing of Blue Ribbon by Black Mambas which saved both teams from the axe.

Monomotapa, 2008 champions and fingered in the Asiagate scandal for masquerading as the national team against Malaysia in 2009, could kiss the Premier Soccer League goodbye if they lose their last match to Masvingo.

The Taurai Mangwiro-coached Monos are hanging by the thread on 33 points, just a rung above Shabanie Mine (31 points), with only one team remaining to get the boot from the country’s top flight football league.
Shooting Stars, Zimbabwe Saints and Kiglon are already out of the league and play dead rubber matches this weekend.

Last week, Monomotapa salvaged a point when they held Highlanders to a goalless draw at Barbourfields Stadium under the mentorship of assistant coach Nkululeko Dlamini.

Former Njube Sundowns midfielder Tendai Ngulube had the game of his life on the day, shutting out the marauding Highlanders’ strikers with twin centre-back Morgan Mungombe.

Dlamini was happy with the draw away from home but today is a tougher assignment as Monomotapa need an outright win to steer clear from relegation.

Monomotapa will be banking on their usual scorer Makai Kawashu, who came on as a substitute for Joseph Mutambirwana last week against Highlanders and gave the Bosso defence a torrid time with Carlos Mesi upfront.

A loss or draw to Masvingo, would spell disaster for Monomotapa, whose fate will be determined by the Shabanie Mine-Highlanders outcome at Maglas Stadium today.

After the draw against Bosso last weekend, Dlamini said they still held their destiny in their own hands and it is still game on.

Masvingo United, who are also in danger of getting the chop on 34 points, will also be out to win today’s match to remain in the Premiership.

They, however, slackened last weekend when they lost 5-2 to Hwange at the Colliery.

Masvingo’s survival also depends on the Maglas result if they lose to Monomotapa in Harare.

They had it going on the previous weekend when they beat Highlanders 1-0 at Mucheke Stadium but were stalled by the Chipangano, who are on the rampage as the curtain goes down on the Premiership.

Masvingo United coach Ralph Kawondera will be depending on Pevington Zimunya to lead his troops to victory in Harare at Rufaro Stadium.

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