BY FORTUNE MBELE
Herentals face the task of trying to preserve their place at the top table of Zimbabwean football when they confront Bulawayo Chiefs in a must-win Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Luveve Stadium this afternoon.
Two teams will be joining relegated Mushowani Stars and Hwange.
A win for Herentals, sitting on 38 points, might not help their case if Chapungu (39), Harare City and TelOne both on 40 points also win their last-day matches.
Chapungu host Highlanders at Ascot and will be banking on the low morale at the Bulawayo giants who suffered a defeat to Bulawayo Chiefs with coach Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh attributing the loss to an industrial action by players.
Harare City have a tough one against Ngezi Platinum Stars, who threw spanners into Caps United’s championship quest on Wednesday and are eyeing a top four finish.
The Sunshine City Boys bettered their chances of avoiding the chop with a win over Dynamos in mid-week fixtures.
TelOne are away to Chicken Inn at Barbourfields and the GameCocks will fight for a win that could take them into second spot if Caps lose to FC Platinum in a championship decider at the National Sports Stadium.
While Yadah will also need to win against Mushowani at Trojan Mine, their fate depends on how other relegation rivals fare.
Bulawayo Chiefs, who are on 41 points, need at least a draw to guarantee themselves top-flight football next season.
Herentals coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva is hopeful that things can go in their favour.
“We need to have the correct attitude as well as the fighting and a never-say-die attitude from my boys. We will need dedication to save the team from the chop. We have a good 90 minutes to fight for survival and we are prepared to try our best. It is not going to be easy for us and neither is it going to be easy for Bulawayo Chiefs. They have advantage because a draw will be good enough for them, but we are going there to fight. The boys are showing the hunger and the mental strength to win,” Mutiwekuziva said.
Herentals on Wednesday faltered when they lost 2-0 to Chicken Inn after a good run in which they had gone nine matches without defeat.