Gamecocks go top

HARARE – Chicken Inn coach Rahman Gumbo (pictured)believes his side is primed for the Castle Lager Premiership title after grinding a 1-0 win over Black Rhinos to go top of the log table yesterday.

Skipper Moses Jackson scored the all-important goal for the Gamecocks in the 63rd minute to take their tally to 45 points after 21 matches.

Jackson took full advantage of some poor defending by Chauya Chipembere to head home the winner after Rhinos goalkeeper Stephen Chimusoro, who started ahead of Herbert Rusawo, had parried an earlier effort from substitute Obadiah Tarumbwa onto his path.

Chicken Inn now have a two-point lead over second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars, who have a tough away game this afternoon against champions CAPS United at Rufaro Stadium.

“Like I said before, we have got our own targets that we have set and we are still within our targets," Gumbo said.

“Today’s game, I think Rhinos played very good football, they gave us a good run for our money but at the end of the day we came here to grind a result and we got it.

“We are not superior to Rhinos, I think it was a balanced game. I think we took the chance that we got and that was the only difference. Rhinos missed some chances and I think that was the major difference.

“We want to see how far we can go; we just want to keep on collecting points. We are going for the championship and if you can get a result against a strong side like Rhinos it shows where we are going. We are making our statement very straight-forward.”

It was, however, a harsh way to lose for Black Rhinos having done everything only to stutter in front of goal.

The army side was by far the better side with Benjamin Marere, Cliff Chitsamba and Lot Chiwunga all coming close only to be denied by either Gamecocks goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze or at times found their defence unyielding.

The defeat was Black Rhinos’ fifth in a row to leave them in eighth place on the log table with 31 points after 21 matches.

Their coach Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa said there is no need to panic for his side as they have enough games to turn around their season.

“The wheels are not coming off yet. The boys played very well, created a lot of chances but we couldn’t score, even the set-pieces that we got we couldn’t convert them into goals” Mutizwa said.

“Yes, we are very worried, this is our fifth defeat. We are going to work more on finishing chances that we are creating. We are going to keep on working hard to ensure that we get a win in our next matches.

“Today, we have played well, matched Chicken Inn in every department but just couldn’t get the goals. We are still looking at surpassing the 43 point mark to ensure that we are safe from relegation.”

Meanwhile, in Bulawayo, a last minute goal by Ismael Wadi was the sucker punch Bulawayo City needed to beat Harare City 1-0 in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Barbourfields Stadium.

Bulawayo City coach Mandla Mpofu was happy with the win.

“It is a game to celebrate after I personally as a coach had admitted that we were going to share and get a point,” Mpofu said.

“At times we need luck, we were lucky and scored in the last minute. But I think we could have scored in the first minute of the first half where Wadi should have put that one away.”

Harare City coach Philani ‘'Beefy’' Ncube was a disappointed man after the loss.

“We struggled in the first half but we improved in the second half. We failed to defend as a team in the last seconds of the game,” Ncube said.

“We were playing a team that was fighting from the onset up to the last minute. We think we had a better second half.”

Today

CAPS United v Ngezi Platinum (Rufaro), Hwange v Bantu Rovers (Colliery), Triangle United v FC Platinum (Gibbo), Shabanie Mine v ZPC Kariba (Maglas), How Mine v Dynamos (Postponed), Highlanders v Tsholotsho (Postponed)

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