DEBUTANTS Bulawayo Chiefs inflicted the first defeat of the season on defending champions FC Platinum in an entertaining Castle Premiership encounter at Luveve Stadium yesterday.
BY NUNURAI JENA/ SAKHELENI NXUMALO
Bulawayo Chiefs …..(2) 2
ZPC Kariba ……………(1) 1
Chicken Inn………….. (0) 1
A predatory strike from captain Kundishora Chakanyuka and a well-taken free kick by Moses Majika earned the hosts their second victory of the season, which took their points tally to nine.
Bulawayo Chiefs coach Garthly Chipuka said their strategy to stop the visitors from building from the back had paid dividends.
“The boys played very well and played according to instructions because our game plan was to mark high up and also not to give them any respect so that we could go pound for pound. It was not going to be easy as we were coming from a defeat, but credit to the boys for their performance,” Chipuka said.
The visitors were quick off the mark and created a couple of chances in the first quarter of the match which they however failed to utilise.
After weathering the storm, Chiefs came out of their shell and started asking questions of the visitors’ defence culminating in Chakanyuka’s opener on 28 minutes.
The veteran forward finished off a steal by his strike partner Farau Matare who dispossessed the usually dependable Winston Mhango.
Majika then added a second with a spectacular free kick a minute into the referee’s first half optional time when his powerful effort nestled into the far top corner with FC Platinum keeper Francis Tizayi a well beaten man.
After the break the visitors went all out in search of goals but the hosts were resolute in their defending.
FC Platinum stand-in coach Lizwe Sweswe blamed his side’s performance on complacency.
Meanwhile, in another Castle Lager Premier Soccer League contest at Nyamhunga, ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi was a disappointed man after his side surrendered an early lead to be held by Chicken Inn yesterday.
The home side started on the offensive and were duly rewarded in the fourth minute when Talent Chamboko got to the end of a long ball into the penalty area to head home the opener.
ZPC could have increased their tally in the 20th minute, but Tawanda Nyamandwe squandered the chance when his shot missed the target with Chicken Inn keeper Elvis Chipezeze a beaten man.
“Surely what can you expect me to do when someone with the keeper to beat takes ages to hit the ball?” fumed Tamirepi, whose side remain winless in seven matches.
“Yes we got an early goal but failed to keep the momentum in the second half and we got punished for defending so deep …we defended badly as well” said Tamirepi.
A penalty appeal by Chicken Inn was waved away by referee Ruzive Ruzive who had a good day in office.
A pep talk at half-time and shrewd substitution by Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas changed the complexion of the game as the Gamecocks dominated the second half.
It was a matter of time before Chicken Inn equalised through substitute Wellington Kamudyariwa in the 73rd minute when his thunderbolt shot just inside the box nestled in the left corner to silence the home fans.
ZPC Kariba were lucky to get a point as they survived a Chicken Inn onslaught in the final 15 minutes of the game.