The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Battle for Survival Turns Fierce

Photo: CAF
Zimbabwe: Legendary player and coach Moses Chunga failed to save Gunners FC from relegation.

WILL it be Black Mambas or Moses Chunga's Gunners who will go down when the relegation puzzle finally falls into shape tomorrow? Hwange are also in the mix and could be demoted if they lose to Quelaton in their last match at Luveve. The fight for survival has turned fierce at the bottom of the table with only three priceless points to play for this final weekend.

Debutants Quelaton were the first to sink when their maiden campaign came to crashing end with five games to go.

They were followed by Hardbody and Blue Rangers this week.

And as the curtain comes down tomorrow one more team will fall by the wayside in this fierce battle for survival where Gunners host Chicken Inn while Mambas travel to Mandava for a date against FC Platinum.

Gunners have had a bad campaign from the start but a good run of three successive wins in their last outings have placed Chunga's men on a good position.

Chando Kupisa are tied on 31 points with Black Mambas on the log table going into the final round of play and interestingly both teams have the same goal difference of minus 11.

Gunners' coach Moses Chunga yesterday said his side will go into the match with a positive mind after collecting nine points in the last three games against Monomotapa, Motor Action and Harare City.

Gunners are the only team that will be at home among the candidates in the fight for survival.

"The chances are 50-50 but we are focused on the core business of getting positive results from this match.

"For us every game is a must-win and we are putting all our energies towards that. I don't think we would have been in this situation if we have won our games earlier in the season," said Chunga.

Their opponents Chicken Inn have been in top form of late and they sealed a top three finish on Wednesday when they drew 2-2 with CAPS United.

But Adam Ndlovu's men could be haunted by the way they let go a two-goal advantage to allow the Green Machine to settle for a share of the spoils.

Mambas' coach John "Toto" Ncube yesterday acknowledged that the police outfit are faced with a difficult mission to conquer Kugona Kunenge Kudada at their backyard in Zvishavane.

However, Ncube said Warumwa Warumwa will be looking to beat the odds as they need nothing short of victory to ensure their safety.

"Talking of Zimbabwean football, FC Platinum are one of the biggest teams at the moment because they have good players and the money to bankroll their activities. It's a tough game for us since it is FC Platinum who are also the home team. But we have been preparing hard for it.

"We know that if we lose the match then that would be the end of the road for Mambas. So we go there aiming for maximum points since the only other way to survive relegation this season is to win at FC Platinum," said Ncube.

Mambas will welcome back defenders Sam Mutenheri and Patrick Muswera who are returning from suspension for the red cards they picked in the home defeat to Dynamos two weeks ago.

But Warumwa Warumwa will be without one of their key men in striker Kasimero Chimbadzwa who aggravated his injury in a league game during the midweek.

Hwange, who lost their appeal for a replay against Dynamos yesterday, have an edge over the other two teams but their safety is not guaranteed.

The coal miners are currently on 33 points, two better than Gunners and Mambas and should be buoyed by the 7-1 win they recorded over Blue Rangers during the midweek.

Coach Nation Dube was happy with the return of defender David Boriwondo and midfielder Farai Vimisayi who have regained fitness ahead of the last match of the season. Hwange could be dragged down if they lose at relegated Quelaton and both Gunners and Mambas win their assignments.

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