Violence mars Chicken Inn win

 

BULAWAYO - CAPS United are facing heavy sanctions from the Premier Soccer League after their fans rioted following defeat by new champions Chicken Inn in an incident-filled Easycall semi- final tie played here yesterday.

Makepekepe fans threw missiles and attacked Chicken Inn players, venting their anger and frustrations over refereeing decisions which they felt went against their team.



Police details failed to control the rioting fans who threw rocks and bottles onto the pitch — leading to a 20-minute stoppage in an encounter which had been expected to be a blood and thunder — given the history between the two clubs.

Yesterday’s violence puts a spotlight on today’s blockbuster semi-final pitting Highlanders and Dynamos whose matches at Barbourfields Stadium have ended in violence in the last couple of years.

There are serious questions on security following the failure to bring good crowd control between the Chicken Inn and CAPS United match which was attended by a relatively smaller crowd compared to what is expected this afternoon.

Already disillusioned by their team’s poor first half performance that saw them conceding two goals, the Makepekepe supporters’ boiling emotions went a gear up when Leonard Tsipa stamped on Devine Lunga and Ben Nyahunzi reacted by shoving Tsipa.

The incident saw an overzealous supporter finding his way onto the pitch while police officers looked helplessly before stamping Nyahunzvi with a typical kung-fu kick.

Chicken Inn players chased after the fan before more CAPS United supporters housed at the Mpilo End bay stormed onto the pitch attacking Chicken Inn players leading to the abandonment of the match.

The match had been earlier stopped briefly nine minutes from full time after CAPS United fans threw missiles.

CAPS United technical bench and marshals tried in vain to calm the fans and the police could not help the situation either as they failed to control the handful but rowdy Makepekepe supporters.

Away from the chaos, Chicken Inn had started the match brightly winning battles in the midfield.

The Gamecocks kept shape in all departments with Tafadzwa Kutinyu and veteran Clement Matawu given too much room to orchestrate moves.

It was no surprise when Matawu put the Gamecocks ahead in the fourth minute when he stabbed in a cross from the enterprising Lunga.

Kutinyu capped the good display with a beautiful curling shot past Jorum Muchambo.

Matawu won possession on the right, checked inside before exchanging passes with Passmore Bernard who set up Kutinyu. 

Michelle Katsvairo scrambled the ball just outside the box twelve minutes into the second half and released a low shot past the goalkeeper.
“I thought the boys played well. The performance was good. It was one game probably we were not meant to win,” said CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe after the match.

“Considering that the boys have been consistent maybe the defeat was always going to come.”

On the performance of the referee Chitembwe said: “It’s not for me to comment.

It will be unfair for me to comment about the referee, it’s very unprofessional for me to do that but I’m very extremely disappointed with the way the fans reacted to the situation.

“I understand their feelings, obviously the fans expect the best from their team but I thought this was a very bad advert for our football. I thought the teams gave it their all on the pitch, playing entertaining and very competitive football only to be spoiled by the fans. It was not the best way to end the season for us.”  

His counterpart Joey Antipas castigated hooliganism which saw several of his players injured.

“We played some good football but CAPS United supporters took the gloss out of our win,” Antipas said after the match.  “I thought we put in a brilliant performance. The boys played like real champions and it’s good to be in the final.

“But hooliganism, Leonard Tsipa stamped on (Devine) Lunga and for senior players like him that shouldn’t happen. But I’m sure he (Lunga) should be okay.

Meanwhile, CAPS United team manager Shakespeare Chinogwenya said they would launch a formal complaint against the referee.

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