Gamecocks beat Byo City

BULAWAYO - Chicken Inn maintained pressure on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League pacesetters Ngezi Platinum with a hard-fought victory over city neighbours Bulawayo City in a match played here yesterday.

A solitary goal by Innocent Muchaneka in the first half was all the Rahman Gumbo-coached outfit needed to dislodge Amakhosi.

The Gamecocks gaffer believes the match was a difficult one.

“I think local derbies are a problem to any coach, sometimes it is up to the players to decide the outcome. I think it was a very balanced game in my point of view. It was a good win for the club,” Gumbo said after the match.

His opposite number Mandla Mpofu was disappointed with the loss.

“It is disappointing to lose three points today after a good show on Thursday against Highlanders.

“We were a little bit sloppy in the first half, not the usual play that we are used to but an improvement in the last 15 minutes. Building from the back and creating scoring opportunities.

“Overally, at the end of the day if you don’t win it’s not good enough. This game was obviously not going to be easy,” Mpofu said.

Chicken Inn opened the scoring 12 minutes into the match through midfielder Muchaneka.

Veteran Clemence Matawu did well on the right and sent in an inch-perfect pass for Muchaneka inside the 18 yard box.

Muchaneka hit a first time shot to beat Liberty Chirava in goals for City.

Two minutes later, Clive Rupiya almost got an equaliser for City. His header from inside the box was punched back into play by goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze and Ishmael Wadi shot over the bar from the rebound.

Play started to swing from one end to the other and the match lived to its billing as a derby.

Gamecocks defender Guide Goddard almost scored a second for Chicken Inn 31 minutes into the match from a free-kick just outside the 18 yard box. His shot was punched away for a corner by the fully stretched Amakhosi goalkeeper Chirava.

Like in the first half, the second half started on a high with Bulawayo City fighting to get an equaliser while Chicken Inn were looking for the second to try and secure maximum points.

Chirava produced what was probably the best save of the day 66 minutes into the match. He dived fully to his left to save a left foot effort from Chicken Inn substitute Collins Dhuwa from close range.

Muchaneka wasted an opportunity to extend the lead for the Gamecocks and to score his second of the day when he shot weakly at goal after being sent through by Obadiah Tarumbwa 73 minutes into the match.

City tried in vain to come back into the game but they found the Chicken Inn defence unyielding and on several occasions they lacked the killer punch upfront.

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