Chicken Inn move into 2nd place

ZVISHAVANE - Ten-man Chicken Inn reaffirmed their growing status as real title contenders after beating troubled Shabanie Mine 2-1 at Mandava Stadium to move into second place on the Castle Premiership log standings.

With Sunday’s win the Bulawayo side climbed to 29 points, same as the log leaders Highlanders, however, they have an inferior goal difference.

Shabanie started the match the brighter of the two sides and had a glorious chance in the first minute when Celeb Masocha’s acrobatic kick was punched back into the play by Chicken Inn goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni.

The home side took the in the ninth minute through Pervington Zimunya, who beat Nyoni from the penalty spot.

The Chinda Boys were awarded the spot kick after the visitor’s goalie had brought down Tarisai Rukanda inside the box.

However, the visitors began to control the game and found their equaliser six minutes later through Tendai Ndoro, who capitalised on poor marking by the Shabanie defence to beat Victor Twaliki.

Shabanie where caught on the break by the Gamecocks as Canaan Nkomo sent through Ndoro behind the defence with a wonderful through ball.

It was Ndoro’s 10th goal of the season and he is now a favourite for the Golden Boot going into the second round of the season.

Shabanie coach Luke Masomere was forced to make an early change following the injury to defender Tafadzwa Mombeshora, who collided with Chicken Inn defender Zephaniah Ngodzo.

Mombeshora was replaced by Blessed Mabavarira.

In the second half, both teams determined to find the winner as action swung from end to end.

Nkomo would however prove to be the match winner for the Gamecocks when he was allowed space in the 66th minute to pick his spot by the Shabanie defence.

There was no pressure on the Gamecocks player as he shot from the edge of the box to beat Twaliki.

Chicken Inn, however, failed to finish the match with a full complement of players after second half substitute Thabni Goredema was show a second yellow for his crude tackle on Fungai Chirinda.

Despite playing with a man short in the dying stages of the match, the Bulawayo side were able to hold on for the win.

After the match Chicken Inn coach Mandla Mpofu said: “The players are hungry for success and its working well for us. The win is going to spur us to win the next matches because we are now trying to fulfil our targets.”

Shabanie coach Like Masomere said: “We lost to an intact team which was strong in all departments and credit should go to Chicken Inn they are a good side.”

In another matches on Sunday, struggling Hwange beat Harare City 4-1 at the Colliery while Triangle edged Black Mambas 1-0 at Gibbo Stadium in Triangle. - Sports Writer

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