Chakupe rescues Shabanie

ZVISHAVANE - Daniel Chakupe was once again the hero for Shabanie Mine after he scored a late equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw against an impressive Chicken Inn at Maglas Stadium yesterday.

Shabanie shook off the effects of not training for the better part of the week with a spirited comeback late in the second half to earn a share of the spoils.

The asbestos miners’ players staged a protest last week over unpaid salaries and bonuses and the effects were evident in the early stages of the match.

The home side was playing second fiddle to the Gamecocks but were able raise their game towards the end with Chakupe smashing home with good shot on the turn from a Godknows Murwira assist 11 minutes from time.

Chicken Inn had started the match strongly with veterans Clemence Matawu and Mkhokeli Dube combining well upfront as they unsettled the Shabanie defence.

Dube put the visitors ahead after 24 minutes when he headed home a free kick from Passmore Bernard.

The visitors could have increased their tally but they were guilty of wasting a number of good chances.

Chicken Inn were made to pay for those missed chances as Shabanie came back from the halftime break a different side.

Fullback Merson Nelson, playing in an unfamiliar midfield position, was a constant menace for the Gamecocks defence in the second period.

It was no surprise when Chakupe scored the equaliser as the home side had put the Gamecocks defence under pressure for long periods in the second half.

Shabanie coach John Phiri bemoaned the funding challenges affecting his team but praised his players for raising their game in the second half.

“We started slowly and this is because we didn’t train all week. It’s not good when the off-field things affect play but it’s good that we managed to come back against all odds,” said Phiri.

“Chicken Inn seemed to be on top of the situation and they could have easily won the match but I’m pleased with the way the players responded in the second half. This is a crucial point.”

Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas, whose team haven’t lost against Shabanie at Maglas since their promotion into the Premiership 2011, rued the missed chances.

“It’s a fair result although we should have won this match considering we were on top of the situation for the better of the game,” he said.

“We missed a number of chances which we should have scored. But it’s the nature of the game such things happen.”

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