Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
RELEGATION threatened Hwange FC on Wednesday opted to set up a temporary base in Bulawayo instead of travelling back to the coal-mining town after their 0-0 draw with Bulawayo Chiefs, to save energy for today’s game against Chicken Inn.
The coalminers had a hectic Wednesday afternoon, running themselves an extra mile to secure a draw on a wet Luveve Stadium pitch against Chiefs.
Happy about a point that kept them within survival fighters’ pack, coach Nation Dube said they need “all the energy” when facing championship chasing Chicken Inn who are two points behind leaders Caps United.
“We just had to try and avoid fatigue by staying in Bulawayo because we ran ourselves down on that heavy Luveve Stadium pitch. Travelling to Hwange would have hurt our players because we need all the energy.
“The game against Chicken Inn is more of your cup final because we’re fighting for survival while Chicken Inn want the title,” said Dube.
Hwange are third from the bottom with 32 points from 29 games, just a point away from safety.
TelOne are on position 14 with 33 points and the coalminers are hoping that the Gweru side stumbles and they stun Chicken Inn to move up.
Chicken Inn are no pushovers and their assistant coach Prince Matore, standing in for Joey Antipas who is on national duty with the Warriors said they have to bring their A-game to stay within reach of the championship.
On Wednesday, Chicken Inn beat Mushowani Stars 1-0 in Bindura, in a match where they were reportedly denied a goal under unclear circumstances.
“Our focus is on trying to build from the Mushowani victory and see where we go. The guys showed character at Mushowani and now face Hwange, who are difficult opponents. We need to concentrate throughout the match,” said Matore.
While Hwange will be out to stun the Gamecocks, Chiefs, on position 13 with 25 points head to wounded Manica Diamonds at Vengere.
“It’s a tough game to face a side that is coming from a loss. We’ll go there and try to get a positive result. It’s not easy but we’ll fight,” said Thulani Sibanda, Chiefs coach.
Manica Diamonds were beaten 2-0 at home by defending champions FC Platinum.
Anchors Mushowani on 30 points are involved in a clash of relegation sides when they face Herentals at the National Sports Stadium. A victory for Mushowani will see them leapfrog Herentals who got a vital midweek away point at Triangle United where they drew 1-1.
Second from the bottom Yadah will be in action tomorrow against table toppers Caps United who beat ZPC Kariba 2-1 on Thursday. Yadah stunned Black Rhinos 1-0 on Wednesday. — @ZililoR