SHABANIE MINE and Hwange are optimistic of surviving relegation from the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League after playing draws at the weekend, while fellow strugglers Yadah FC and Bulawayo City both lost their matches.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Shabanie Mine, who have collected 32 points to date, drew 1-1 with Triangle at home on Sunday, and sit two points behind Yadah ahead of their match against Black Rhinos on Saturday at Rufaro Stadium.
Their last three matches after Black Rhinos, who are also not safe from relegation with 38 points having lost to Highlanders on Sunday, will be against Hwange at home, away to How Mine before finishing off with Yadah at home.
Shabanie Mine technical manager Taku Shariwa believes they have exciting fixtures ahead as they meet sides that are also in trouble.
He reckons his side needs 10 points in the last four matches for them to ensure safety.
“It is very intriguing that teams that are in the relegation fight are going to face each other. It is unfortunate that we have been dropping points at home. We travel to Harare for the Black Rhinos match and we know How Mine will be difficult, but hopefully, we will garner a point against them,” Shariwa said yesterday.
“We need to beat Hwange and Yadah at home and we are looking at a minimum of nine or 10 points that will suffice for us to survive relegation.”
Yadah are at home on Saturday against Bulawayo City, who are also in danger of the drop, with 35 points and have tough encounters in their last three games against Caps United, Highlanders and Shabanie Mine.
After holding Caps United on Sunday at the National Sports Stadium, Hwange coach Bigboy Mawiwi said: “We still have 12 points to fight for and if we can get them, I think we will be able to make it.”
The coalminers are a point behind Shabanie and host Highlanders at the Colliery on Sunday before travelling to Maglas for Shabanie Mine.
They will then host Harare City, who also have not secured a place in next year’s competition with 35 points after playing a draw with FC Platinum on Friday.
Harare City are away on Sunday to Triangle, who are also hanging by the thread with 37 points.
Hwange’s last game away will be against ZPC Kariba.
Chapungu, with 40 points, are away to Dynamos on Sunday after picking crucial points on the road on Saturday with a win against Bulawayo City at Barbourfields Stadium.