Both teams won their respective league encounters at the weekend. Dynamos beat Hwange 2-0 to keep their two-point lead while highlanders scored a last-minute goal to stay strong in contention.
However, CAF Confederation Cup 2012 participants Hwange need to collect a minimum of 14 points from their remaining five games.
This could assure them of another dance with the country's elite league following their 0-2 loss to champions Dynamos in a Castle Lager Premiership match at the Colliery Stadium on Sunday.
Chipangano have now gone for more than two months without a win and reality might be dawning on the coal miners amid unconfirmed reports that some players were buying their way into the starting line-up as opposed to coaches selecting the players on merit. The other school of thought is that the decision by then coach Tennant Chilumba to offload seasoned players like Aleck Nyoni and Milos Phiri was ill-timed as the two veteran players had planned to retire with dignity at the end of this season.
Both have a combined total of 25 years service to the colliery outfit.
Hwange are 12th on the standings with 26 points, two points ahead of fourth-from- bottom Blue Rangers, who can end the season on 39 points if they win their remaining five games while Hwange will end at 41 points if they win all the remaining games but 40 points will see them survive even if the other four bottom clubs win their remaining games.
Hwange will be home to fellow relegation candidates Hardbody and Blue Rangers while taking to the road to Mutare to face Buffaloes, Mandava Stadium for a clash with FC Platinum with their game against Quelaton at Luveve Stadium sealing their season and possibly their fate in the league.
Matabeleland North's only representative in the Premiership have the third worst defence in the league, having conceded a massive 43 goals, a record "bettered" only by Blue Rangers who have let in 44 times and Quelaton (46).
Quelaton will be confirmed relegated if they lose their next match at Luveve Stadium although only the top six clubs are assured of Premiership football next year with the rest still mathematically relegation candidates.
While Hwange fans were in their now familiar sorry mood after the game, it was a completely different ball game altogether at Barbourfields Stadium where fans had witnessed what might turn out to be the championship winning goal after Lawson Nkomo propelled Highlanders to their 16th league win with a scorcher of a goal deep into injury-time.
What made the victory even sweeter for the Highlanders supporters was that Black Mambas spent the whole afternoon hacking down the home team's attackers and time-wasting with the goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyauya feigning injuries on almost six occasions. He was lucky not to get a card for that and at some stage for provokingly kicking the ball to the terraces as if to provoke the home team's supporters at the Soweto stand. Such actions have a danger of inviting crowd trouble and referees should be on the lookout for such players.
Mambas were so negative in their bid to frustrate the home team's players and fans. Highlanders battled for 61 minutes with an extra player but found themselves failing to stretch their opponents who were inferior in numbers. Every time Bosso went on a raid especially in the second half, either the goalkeeper or his teammate would fall onto the ground. They would pretend to be injured when they were not involved in a clash with a Highlanders player.
While scientifically it has been proved that on average for 66 minutes the ball is in play while the remainder of the 90 minutes is spent on freekicks, goal kicks and other fouls or restart and resumption of play, on Sunday both teams might have played as little as 55 minutes due to the visitors' time-wasting antics.
The fans though remained calm, only for the sucker punch to come from Nkomo and from then onwards, it was indeed now comical as the police outfit would be seen running for all the balls.
Playmaker, Innocent Nyoni, who gave Highlanders players some anxious moments in the middle of the park, pulled a muscle after the Highlanders goal and tried to soldier on. Mambas had already exhausted their substitutes.
"My boys played very well although the red card affected our rhythm. It's game on now as we fight relegation and I still remain confident that we will survive," said Black Mambas coach John Ncube.
Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu was happy with the win but castigated the unsportsmanlike behaviour by Black Mambas.
"We got a beautiful goal but I must say those delaying tactics where the goalkeeper kept feigning injuries were unwarranted. Such tactics are really bad for soccer.
"Today we were not as forceful as we should have been. I believe in my players and I believe we are going to conquer on our own," said Kaindu.
Nelson Maziwisa (Shabanie) - 16
Milton Ncube (Highlanders) - 10
Denver Mukamba (Dynamos) - 10
Takesure Chinyama (Dynamos) - 9
Roderick Mutuma (Dynamos) - 8
Masimba Mambare (Highlanders) - 8
Leonard Fiyado (Caps Utd/Gunners) - 7
Ali Sadiki (Fc Platinum) - 7
Kasimero Chimbadzwa (Black Mambas) - 6
Rodwell Chinyengetere (Hwange) - 6
Allen Gahadzikwa (FC Platinum) - 6
Mitchell Katsvairo (FC Platinum) - 6
Farai Mupasiri (Dynamos) - 6
Kudakwashe Musharu (Monomotapa) - 6
William Manondo (FC Platinum /Gunners) - 5
Tendai Mukambi (Chicken Inn) - 5
Graham Ncube (Highlanders) - 5
Merciful Ncube (Motor Action) - 5
Nicholas Alifandika (Black Mambas) - 4
Danai Chinowawa (Buffaloes) - 4
Ronald Chitiyo (Monomotapa) - 4
Morris Kadzola (Motor Action) - 4
Daniel Kamunenga (Hwange) - 4
Makai Kawashu (Monomotapa) - 4
Russel Madamombe (Monomotapa) - 4
Norman Maroto (Motor Action) - 4
Michael Mageja (Buffaloes/Hardbody) - 4
Callisto Maheya (Hardbody) - 4
Macdonald Motsi (Blue Rangers) - 4
Simon Munawa (Highlanders) - 4
Osborn Mukuradare (Monomotapa) - 4
Cybert Muvuti (Harare City) - 4.
Norman Togara (FC Platinum) - 4
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