Gamecocks rule the roost

BULAWAYO - It is increasingly becoming clear that Joey Antipas and his Chicken Inn side have their eyes on the local football’s biggest prize – the championship!

After an insipid performance in the first 20 minutes in which play was restricted to the middle of the park, the Gamecocks got into the groove to dispatch a woeful Chapungu side 2-0 which never troubled  the log leaders’ goal except in the final moments.

Football is made beautiful by fantasy play but winning gives it that competitive edge which makes winning count more than anything else on the pitch.

And Chicken Inn did that yesterday, putting three points on the board on a day that could have gone the other way had they not met a hapless opposition.

The match was scrappy for the first 20 minutes before the hosts found their rhythm to gain the larger chunk of possession.

Chicken Inn were duly rewarded in the 34th minute when Mitchell Katsvairo hit the roof of the net after hitman — Edmore Chirambadare — had had his shot blocked back into play by Chapungu goalkeeper Roy Mazingi.

It was earned rather fortuitously as Mazingi had fumbled a long shot from captain Danny ‘Deco’ Phiri which fell to Chirambadare whose effort hit him before rolling kindly to Katsvairo to hit the roof of the net.

Two minutes before the break the Gamecocks could have added their goal tally through Phiri whose scorcher from a Guide Goddard lay-off inside the penalty box missed the target by inches with Mazingi a beaten man.

In the second half Chicken Inn started from where they left off and at the stroke of the hour mark doubled the score through veteran Bhekimpilo Ncube, to cement their position at the summit of the league standings.

Ncube got a pass from Chirambadare, beat one man and came face to face with Mazingi before placing his shot at the far left corner of the net.

From then on, the dominant Gamecocks threatened an avalanche but could not fashion further goals from the chances they created.

Chapungu only threatened four minutes from full time when veteran forward — Phillip Marufu — was denied by goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze who narrowed his angle to force a shot he comfortably saved.

“We were very solid. The guys played a very good game. We never gave them a chance to shoot at goal. We had problems in the first 20 minutes but thereafter we adjusted and started playing our usual game” Antipas told the Daily News.

Chapungu coach John Nyikadzino accepted the defeat and conceded his charges were poor on the day.  “Chicken Inn utilised the chances they got. We lost to a better side today. Our level of concentration cost us.”

Meanwhile, Triangle maintained the heat on Chicken Inn when they beat Tsholotsho 2-0 at White City stadium.

Triangle have now moved to 35 points, just two points shy of Chicken Inn who boast of 37 points.

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