MUTARE-BASED Castle Lager Premiership teams, Manica Diamonds and Tenax C.S FC, who both drew against Yadah Stars and Highlanders last Sunday, will live to fight another day albeit for a different cause in this 2021/2022 season.
Manica Diamonds settled for stalemate against Yadah at Vengere Stadium in Rusape, while Tenax C.S FC played a goalless draw away against Bosso at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.
The Mutare diamond miners are pursuing a respectable finish to the season, with a chance of the championship on offer as a bonus, while the correctional service personnel are desperately fighting for dear life in the country’s top-flight league football.
Tied at 35 points together with Herentals FC on fourth position, Manica Diamonds are staring at a real possibility of either clawing up the log and close the gap between them and Chicken Inn and Dynamos or drop places down the log standings.
Johanisi Nhumwa and his men, who are now a distant fourth and a massive 15 points adrift log leaders FC Platinum, face Triangle FC away at Gibbo Stadium in their next league encounter.
The match at Gibbo will present a tricky fixture given that the Lowveld sugarcane growers will also be out to collect maximum points and possibly find their way back up the table.
After occupying the fourth and fifth positions in recent months, Triangle have since slipped to eighth position.
On the other side of the city, Tenax C.S FC are still struck in the murky waters of relegation. Their surprise nil-all stalemate against Highlanders is exactly what the doctor prescribed for Chauya Chikara.
Given the boardroom upheaval that prevailed in Tenax C.S FC corridors that resulted in Shadreck ‘Father’ Mugurasave calling it quits, a draw away to Highlanders is a great result for youthful coach, Isaac ‘Zeka’ Nengomasha and his assistant, Blessing Madombi.
As the beat goes on, Manica Diamonds look back to last Sunday’s encounter with a heavy heart after the match officials appeared to have conspired to deny them the well deserved three points.
Manica Diamonds thought they had taken the lead in 53rd minute when a Talent Chamboko’s shot was deflected by a Yadah defender and unmarked Nyasha Chintuli headed past goalkeeper, Panashe Nyabunga, but assistant referee flagged him for offside.
In the 32nd minute, Yadah defender, Alick Freddy who had no a challenger failed to deal with a Manica Diamonds harmless cross and chested the ball into his own net and gifted Gem Boys the lead.
Ten minutes later, Binzi who had a perfect game restored parity when he received an assist from Clive Mandivei inside the box and shot past Jorum Muchambo.