Relief for Rahman Gumbo

BULAWAYO - Chicken Inn coach Rahman Gumbo was a relieved man after his side defeated relegation-threatened Mutare City Rovers 2-0 in a mid-week Castle Lager Premiership match here yesterday.

Goals in each half by Lawrence Mhlanga and substitute Ismael Lawe were all the defending champions needed to collect maximum points.

“It’s a relief for us. We had not won in our last two league matches. We changed our team and we left out our misfiring strikers. We played with one striker and five midfielders and it worked for us. The team had a positive winning attitude,” said Gumbo.

The home side moved into sixth place on the log with 34 points while Magusha remain in the relegation zone on 14th place with 20 points.

Chicken Inn dominated possession with the evergreen Clemence Matawu dictating pace in midfield.

His efforts were complimented by anchor-man Thabani Goredema and right wing back Passmore Bernard, who hardly put a foot wrong throughout the match.

Mhlanga opened the scoring for Gamecocks in the 21st minute with his trademark header from a Devine Lunga set-piece, after Mutare City conceded a free kick in their own half.

Pride Tafirenyika could have scored the second for the home side a few minutes before the break, but his volley from outside the box hit the cross bar.

Tafadzwa Kutinyu hit another volley from a rebound that was tipped over the bar by Rovers keeper Philip Nhete.

Goredema also came close with a long range shot that missed the target by inches in the 71st minute, after a good exchange of passes with Matawu, Kutinyu and George Majika.

Magusha could have equalised moments later but their captain Chastern Ngondonga only found the side-netting with his header. Lawe scored the assurance goal for the defending champions nine minutes from time when he beat Nhete after a quick break.

Mutare City Coach Taku Shariwa, however, still remains optimistic of surviving relegation.

“We could not impose ourselves the way we wanted. It was a game of few chances and Chicken Inn utilised theirs,” he said.

“We thought we were going to win and open a gap of four points on Tsholotsho after being done a favour by Dynamos. We are still in it, we are third from the bottom and all we need to do is maintain our position and survive.”

Meanwhile, across town at Luveve Stadium, Kevin Kaindu’s How Mine dislodged struggling coal miners Hwange by 2-0.

Chikurupati scored through Toto Banda in the 54th minute and substitute Godfrey Nguwodzawo 10 minutes before the end.

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