SUNDAY is Judgment Day for Shabanie Mine.
Simply put, its win or bust.
With just 32 points from 28 matches and lying in 14th position on the log, Shabanie Mine would, not at this stage, want to be playing an angry Highlanders side at Maglas.
Three years ago, Shabanie Mine beat Highlanders 2-0 to survive the chop and this time under the guidance of Jairos Tapera, they are banking on a repeat of history.
“It is a big game for us and if we had all the powers we would want to win the game,” Tapera said.
“It would give us the edge when going into our last match against Triangle.
“Highlanders have been losing and they want to win the match at all costs. It is going to be a tough game, but the boys are ready for the match.”
Highlanders have had a bad spell which was somewhat broken when they beat Chiredzi 2-1 at Hartsfield Rugby Ground on Monday.
Having lost out on almost all cup competitions on offer and the league title, Highlanders can still qualify for the last silverware on offer, the Mbada Diamonds Cup, but a respectable finish is what matters for them now.
Bosso have only beaten one team, Chiredzi, twice this season and might do a double over Shabanie Mine whom they beat 4-1 in the reverse fixture.
Highlanders coach Mark Mathe conceded that Sunday’s match would be tough.
”It’s a very tough game and there are a lot of permutations that come with the league at the moment,” he said.
“Everyone is fighting for different causes. They are playing at home and they are a good side with good coaches, but we also want to finish strongly as though we are in a cup final.”
He said they could have Simba Sithole, who has been sidelined due to injury, back in the team as he started training this week while Gabriel Nyoni (pictured) was being monitored.
Highlanders will also have to hope that FC Platinum, Hwange and Chicken Inn cancel each other out in this weekend’s matches.
Platinum and Hwange clash at the Colliery while Chicken Inn date Buffaloes at Hartsfield. Even if Highlanders win against Shabanie, they would have to wait until their last league match against Chapungu to know whether they qualify for fourth position.
FC Platinum are on 45 points. A draw would take them to 46 and a win to 48. Hwange are on 42 and a win would give them 45 points while a draw would leave them at 43.
Meanwhile, despite being one of the two teams, alongside Chiredzi, that have been relegated from the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, Bantu Rovers coach Mandla Mpofu says they will not do any favours for any team in their last two league games. Bantu Rovers face How Mine at Hartsfield on Sunday.
Mpofu and his charges are second from the bottom of the log table with 25 points from 28 games, while How Mine are on position eight with 37 points from the same number of games.
“We are not going to do any favours for any team,” he said.
“If How Mine want the three points, they have to be at their best because it is not going to be easy. Our only injury worry is Raphael Kutinyu who has to pass a late fitness test”
Bantu Rovers held title contenders Dynamos to a goalless draw in Harare last Sunday, but it was too little too late as they are already on their way to Division One.
In the first round of the league, they stunned the Metallon Gold-sponsored squad with a 3-1 victory at Luveve Stadium when Philani Ncube was at the helm of How Mine.
Tomorrow: ZPC Kariba v Dynamos (National Sports Stadium, SS), Chicken Inn v Buffaloes (Hartsfield)
Sunday: Caps United v Harare City (National Sports Stadium, SS), Shabanie Mine v Highlanders (Maglas), Bantu Rovers v How Mine (Hartsfield), Hwange v FC Platinum (Colliery Stadium), Chiredzi v Triangle (Chishamiso), Chapungu v Black Rhinos (Ascot Stadium)