The result left the Gamecocks with 55 points while FC Platinum, who were also held to a 1-1 draw by relegation bound Flame Lily in Harare, are on 53 points.
Katsvairo’s header beat Tsholotsho goalkeeper Nickel Marichi at the near post off a George Majika cross from the left six minutes into the second half to cancel Simbarashe Gorogodyo’s 45th minute goal.
As they have done in as many games, Chicken Inn turned on the heat after getting the equaliser in a bid to grab a winner but found Tsholotsho resolute in defence at the bumpy White City Stadium turf.
The resultant Tsholotsho goal came after Kudzanai Machazane’s effort deflected off Ben Nyahunzvi for corner, which veteran Joel Luphahla took and found Lynnoth Chikuhwa in the box.
Zendera then produced a great save to stop Chikuhwa’s header, but the ball fell into the path of Gorogodyo, who easily poked it into the net.
The goal triggered wild celebrations by the Tsholotsho bench and fans as they sensed victory to enhance their survival chances. Tsholotsho coach Lizwe Sweswe said poor defending had cost them maximum points.
“I think we had done everything right to win the game, but a lapse in concentration when defending that cross cost us. Because of the good run that we were enjoying, the players have developed some self belief and today they were confident of getting three points, but we got one, which is still okay as we battle for survival,” said Sweswe.
With a bit of luck and precision, Tsholotsho, who have gone on a five-game unbeaten run, could have won the game to remain three points clear of 13th placed Buffaloes.
Tsholotsho are a place above the drop zone with 30 points, one ahead of Buffaloes, who beat ZPC Kariba 2-1 at home to reduce the gap to one point.
Tsholotsho will rue MacClive Phiri’s first minute miss that went agonisingly wide and Chikuhwa’s 57th minute miss with Zendera out of sight.
Having played second fiddle in the first half, Chicken Inn returned from the breather fired up, restricting their opponents to their own half, but they still failed to crack Tsholotsho.
National Under-23 left-back Devine Lunga could have equalised in the 90th minute after getting to the end of a Toto Banda cross, but instead of slotting into an empty net, he went for power and shockingly skied his effort.
The Gamecocks’ gaffer Joey Antipas said the uneven pitch affected their play, but was happy with the point.
“This was a very difficult game. Credit to Tsholotsho for giving us a good game and I also give credit to my boys, who never gave up fighting. I think we lost it in the final third where we lost lots of balls. We also have to work on our finishing,” said Antipas.