Bulawayo City stun Gamecocks

HARARE - Chicken Inn succumbed to their first defeat of the season after falling 2-1 to an organised and determined Bulawayo City in a Castle Premiership match at Luveve Stadium yesterday. 

After thrashing PSL Premiership returnees Bantu Rovers last weekend many thought the Gamecocks were the team to beat this season but yesterday Rahman Gumbo and his charges were given a rude awakening of the task lies ahead.

Mkhokheli Dube and Kelvin Madzongwe got the goals for Bulawayo City to ensure maximum points for Mandla Mpofu’s ream having started their campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Highlanders last weekend. Chicken Inn got their goal through the boot of Thomas Kadyaridzire.

It was a game that was characterised by a lot of physical play with both set of players going hard at each other. At one point, coaches from the two sides had a go for each other, exchanging words at the touchline as the game went more physical.

The Gamecocks could have opened the scores six minutes into the match through Obadiah Tarumbwa but the forward watched his effort hit the cross bar and back into play after getting to the end of Tafadzwa Kutinyu’s flick off a Divine Lunga cross from the left side.

Chicken Inn went all over Amakhosi in the early stages of the match and City was forced to sit back and rely on counters before they finally broke the deadlock 29 minutes into the match through veteran striker Mkhokheli Dube.

In one of Amakhosi’s rare attacks Bhekimpilo Ncube headed back into play a seemingly over hit cross from Passmore Bernard. The ball fell on Mkhululi Moyo who threaded a pass onto an onrushing Dube who unleashed a thunderbolt from the edge of the box to beat Pride Zendera in goals for Chicken Inn.

After the goal Chicken Inn upped the ante but failed to beat the resolute Amakhosi defence marshalled by Zibusiso Sibanda and Nyasha Mukumbi as the game went for the breather with Bulawayo City holding on to the 1-0 lead.

In the second half the Gamecocks continued from where they left camping in the Amakhosi half in search for on an equaliser. They added more fire power upfront, introducing Ismael Lawe, George Majika and Thomas Kadyaridzire to bolster their strikeforce.

Kadyaridzire repaid his coach’s faith when he got the equaliser for the 2015 champions 78 minutes into the match with his first touch a minute after being introduced.

The evergreen Clemence Matawu sent in an inviting cross into the box from the right and it was met by Kadyaridzire who headed the ball past Liberty Chirava to give hope to his team but Chicken Inn’s celebrations were short lived after Kelvin Madzongwe scored the winner for City three minutes later.

Zendera failed to deal with a seemingly easy to catch free kick from Munyaradzi Mungadze spilling the ball on the path of an alert Madzongwe who had the easiest of tasks to tap the ball into the net.

After the match Bulawayo City Coach Mpofu was a happy man.

“I think I am trying to build a team, a team that can win games. It’s work in progress. Three points is a good motivator going into the next game,” Mpofu said.

“We showed a lot of character in the way we played. I am happy with the three points.

His opposite number Gumbo saw some positives from his team despite the loss.

“It was a typical derby. City gave it their best. We gave it a good shot. We had two mistakes that cost the team,” Gumbo said.

“Bulawayo City were sitting back relying on counter. At the end of the day, it’s goals that count. It’s just a setback, we have to lift ourselves up and move forward. We are one of the best teams in the league.”

At Maglas Stadium FC Platinum maintained their perfect start to the season after handing Bantu Rovers a 3-2 defeat with a Rodwell Chinyengetere brace and a Charles Sibanda strike ensure a second straight defeat for the PSL returnees.

Bantu Rovers, who succumbed to a heavy 0-5 defeat in the hands of Chicken Inn in their opening game last weekend, got their goals through Newman Sianchali and Bukhosi Sibanda. 

Meanwhile, Black Rhinos coach Stix Mtizwa revealed Sydney Linyama is in the process of becoming the most disciplined player after the former Dynamos defender scored the solitary strike that saw the army side pick up their first win of the season at the National Sports Stadium.

Chauya Chipembere went into the game on the backdrop of a season opener defeat to Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium last weekend, whilst Chapungu played a goalless draw against Triangle last weekend.

Questions were being raised over Linyama’s behaviour which saw him being offloaded by the Glamour Boys before signing for Chauya Chipembere. But yesterday Linyama, put up a polished act handing Rhinos their set of maximum points.

“I think Linyama is doing well for us, he is an experienced player and his contribution to the team is invaluable,” Mtizwa said after the match.

“It has been great working with Linyama so far and if anything we are the masters of discipline. If we fail to whip him into line then Linyama was not meant to be a disciplined player and will never be disciplined.

“Our motto at the army is to be disciplined and surely Linyama is in the process to become of the most disciplined player.”

On collecting maximum points Mtizwa said: “I am happy we collected maximum points especially after that last weekend’s painful defeat in the hands of Ngezi Platinum Stars.

“We are quite happy with the direction we are going, but we know how quickly football can change. We want to continue to improve and better our performances. The boys played well and could have scored more goals.”

The win means Chauya Chipembere are now on three points after two rounds of action.  

Chapungu, who are on a re-building exercise under Tendai Chikuni, appeared comfortable on the ball in the opening stages of the match, but lacked the cutting edge in attack and once Rhinos settled into the game, they went on to create several scoring opportunities.

Mtizwa handed veteran former Dynamos forward Benjamin Marere a starting berth and the rampaging striker had the best of the first-half action as Chapungu struggled to cope with his runs.

Rhinos duly went ahead four minutes before the break when Linyama planted a header into the empty net after connecting from a Farai Banda free kick on the right side. The second half was no different from the first half as Rhinos kept on probing Chapungu defence.

However, Chauya Chipembere was let-down by poor finishing with second half substitutes Lot Chiunga and Vincent Mhandu all fluffing good scoring opportunities.

Chapungu coach Tendai Chikuni reckons his charges did not do enough to punish the home team.

“It’s still work in progress the only problem today was that we gave away a goal from the set piece. I am happy with the progress despite losing today,” Chikuni said after the match.

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