Lawrence Moyo, Editor
…Six teams facing relegation
THE curtain comes down on the 2019 Premiership season with drama expected at matches involving six teams in the bottom half who still face relegation.
Hwange joined Mushowani Stars as the confirmed relegation victims on Wednesday after a 1-1 draw away to newcomers, TelOne while debutants Manica Diamonds survived after a 2-0 victory over Chapungu.
This leaves Bulawayo Chiefs, TelOne, Harare City, Chapungu, Herentals and Yadah, who are all separated by just three points, battling to escape the axe that will claim two of them by 4.50pm tomorrow.
Yadah travel to relegated Mushowani needing victory to equal their best haul (41 points) in the Premiership, which is their only hope for survival due to an inferior goal difference. If they win at Mushowani, Yadah would definitely finish above either Bulawayo City or Herentals who face off at Luveve. If Chiefs avoid defeat, Herentals will be relegated. Thus Yadah will now be banking on Highlanders or Chicken Inn to avoid defeat in their games against Chapungu and TelOne. Another desired result for Yadah will be a Ngezi Platinum win over Harare City at Rufaro.
***Survival is not entirely in their hands.
The Bulawayo lightweights have beaten many heavyweights in recent weeks to move from the basement to within a point of survival and go into tomorrow’s final round of matches favourites to stay up.
All they need is a draw against Herentals to finish beyond the reach of at least Yadah and Herentals, which is good enough for survival.
They can still survive with a defeat if Yadah, Chapungu, Harare City and TelOne lose their final matches while an inferior goal difference means the Chiefs would be affected by draws for TelOne and Harare City.
***Survival firmly in their hands.
The newcomers blew their best chance to secure survival on Wednesday when they allowed Hwange to snatch a point at Ascot. Victory would have taken TelOne to safety on 42 points but they now must avoid defeat at Chicken Inn. However, Chicken Inn are GUARANTEED second position on the final standings if they win against TelOne regardless of what happens at the National Sports Stadium between CAPS United and FC Platinum.
A better goal difference means TelOne will finish above at least two of their five survival rivals if they settle for a draw against Chicken Inn.
***Survival in their hands.
A late season collapse has left the Gweru airmen in serious trouble as they MUST beat Highlanders to automatically survive as two sides –Yadah and Herentals –would not be able to reach 42 points. A draw would leave them at the mercy of teams currently below them –Yadah and Herentals.
***Survival is in their hands.
The 3-1 over Dynamos at Rufaro on Wednesday left Harare City needing just a draw at home to Ngezi Platinum to survive on the strength of goal difference. A point will take them to 41 points and beyond Yadah and Bulawayo Chiefs/Herentals loser, which will be enough to ensure safety. Harare City will not even need to worry about the Chapungu and TelOne results once they secure a point.
***Survival is in their hands.
The students face the most difficult survival task of the six teams in the equation as they are away to a team also battling to survive. Their match against Bulawayo Chiefs is a winner-take-all with the loser sinking to Division One. Even a draw would not be helpful to Herentals’ cause.
***Survival not in their hands.