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Zimbabwe PSL relegation: Alarm bells for six clubs

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WHILE all eyes are at the top of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, Rome is burning at the bottom of the table with any of six teams facing the chop in 90 minutes of action left in the 2013 season.

WELLINGTON TONI

Motor Action and Monomotapa, champions in 2010 and 2008 respectively, have already been relegated together with Tripple B after serious financial problems engulfed their camps.

Motor Action had to basically assemble a new team in the middle of the season while Monomotapa have been meeting on match days, but thanks to some professionalism in their camp, they managed to fulfil all their fixtures.

Tripple B were made to play three “home” games in Zvishavane, away from their Beitbridge base and that crippled the financial base of the club.

With the three gone, it’s left to one more club to bite the dust.
And none of the six clubs-Shabanie Mine, Triangle, Hwange, Black Mambas, Buffaloes or Black Rhinos is safe from Division One football.

Hwange and Black Rhinos, on paper, have easier tasks as they face Motor Action at the Colliery and Monomotapa at Gwanzura respectively.

The coalminers are on 10th position with 38 points and a positive goal difference of five, while the other two teams that are on 38 points, Black Mambas and Buffaloes are on minus three each.

That gives Hwange and added advantage and the very fact that they are playing at home is a boost to Nation Dube and his charges.

Their opponents Motor Action, despite their demise, have upheld the principles of Fair Play in their last few matches and are certainly not going to be donating points at the Colliery on Sunday.

Rhinos face a Monomotapa side that, at least, this weekend will not have to worry about travelling as they will be at home.

Last Sunday, Monoz arrived an hour later for their match against Buffaloes and despite all that fought gallantly and only conceded a goal two minutes from time.

They could give the soldiers a good run for their money to end the season on a high.

Away matches

Shabanie Mine, Black Mambas and Buffaloes have their fate in the hands of Highlanders, Dynamos and FC Platinum respectively.
Shabanie did themselves a lot of favour in the last two games where they picked up four points- 1-1 against Dynamos and a 2-0 win over Triangle at Maglas.

Playing at Barbourfields Stadium against wounded Highlanders brings Shabanie no favours as the former champions can still win the league title if both Dynamos and Harare City come worse in their respective ties.

Sitting in position eight with 40 points would have been an enough comfort zone for Luke Masomere’s side, but they know that should they lose to Bosso and Triangle, Hwange, Black Mambas and Black Rhinos win, they can go down.

Shabanie and Rhinos, with 37 points, have each scored 32 goals and conceded 35, leaving each with a goal difference of minus three and it will come to the margin of the weekend results before their fate could be sealed.

Buffaloes are away to FC Platinum, who are in a battle for a top four finish and there will be little favour from coach Lloyd Mutasa as he seeks to impress his bosses who might just, just, decide to reward him with a new contract.

Like Mambas, Shabanie and Rhinos, the Mutare-based side has a goal difference of minus three and a loss, coupled with results from the other matches, will condemn them.

Mambas have the toughest matches of them all as they face defending champions Dynamos who, like Highlanders, can still sneak in and win the league title.

The police side has 38 points and a minus there deficit and need nothing short of a win.

To wait for results from the other games would be disastrous; Mambas need to ensure their own survival at fortress Rufaro.

The last of the scenarios — all the bottom six teams win and the status quo remains the same, even in goal difference, then adios Rhinos!

Fixtures

Highlanders vs Shabanie Mine, Triangle vs Chicken Inn, Hwange vs Motor Action, Monomotapa vs Black Rhinos, Dynamos vs Black Mambas

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