Byo City, Shabanie Mine shift focus


AFTER crashing out of the Chibuku Super Cup at the semi-final stage at the weekend, relegation-threatened sides Bulawayo City and Shabanie Mine will now direct their energies on remaining in the top-flight football league next year.


Bulawayo City lost 1-0 to Harare City while Shabanie Mine fell 3-1 to How Mine in the semi-finals that were played at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

Both teams are in danger of getting relegated, with City on 35 points, four clear of Shabanie Mine who occupy the relegation cut-off point with five games remaining this term.

City, coached by Mandla Mpofu, host Chapungu at Barbourfields on Saturday, a side that is equally fighting for its life, having accumulated 37 points. Three points in this match will almost be priceless for the team that will win it, making this a six-pointer contest.

Mpofu said he had already moved on from the Chibuku heartbreak and shifted focus on the remaining league matches.

“We are not discouraged; we have got another challenge ahead of us. We need to play for survival. We are channelling all our efforts in that direction. My job now is to psyche up the boys for the next match. We are a good team and we should now get as many points as we can. We need to do better in our league games and survive,” Mpofu said.

After Chapungu, City travel to Yadah, host championship hopefuls Dynamos before making another trip to Harare to face defending champions Caps United before concluding their campaign against already-relegated Bantu Rovers.

As for Shabanie Mine, they host Triangle on Sunday in another relegation six-pointer, as their visitors are also embroiled in the relegation matrix, at position 11th on the log standings with 36 points.

They then go to Black Rhinos before they entertain fellow relegation-fighting Hwange at Maglas. A trip to How Mine follows before they finish the season against Yadah, a game that could be decisive for the two teams who are both fighting relegation.

Shabanie coach Takesure Chiragwi believes Bvaru Bvaru will not make an immediate return to Division One football.

“What is important now is to go back to the drawing board and concentrate on surviving relegation, which is key to the club so that next year we participate again in the Chibuku Super Cup,” Chiragwi said.