CHICKEN Inn closed the gap to three points on wasteful log
Report by Fortune Mbele
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Chicken Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(1)1
leaders Highlanders when they handed Bosso their third home defeat in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Barbourfields Stadium.
Nimble-footed Chicken Inn attacking midfielder Kudakwashe Mahachi powered a stinger past Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, 30 minutes into the game, to ensure the GameCox leapt to position two on the standings.
Bosso have lost two games to Bulawayo teams, How Mine and Chicken Inn, and a third to Motor Action. Chicken Inn are now on 26 points, one ahead of champions Dynamos who fell 3-2 to Buffaloes in Mutare yesterday, leaving the ball in Harare City’s court as they host Monomotapa at Rufaro Stadium today.
But Chicken Inn have to heap praises on goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni, who was a busy man thwarting most of Highlanders moves.
Chicken Inn head coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu was elated, but said they remained focused on Shabanie whom they meet at Maglas Stadium on Sunday as they plot a top-four finish in the 2013 Castle Lager Premiership.
“It was a great game. We are happy we have managed to get three points from a big club, but we have to cut our celebrations short and focus on Shabanie. Our target is to be in the top four at the end of the season and it looks like we are in the right direction,” Mpofu said. His counterpart at Bosso, Kelvin Kaindu, was a disappointed man.
“It is unfortunate. Football is won by scoring goals. We did not score goals, but created a lot of chances. Their goalkeeper was on top of the game. What is important now is to focus on the next game,” Kaindu said.
Bosso travel to Harare where they take on Caps United on Saturday at the National Sports Stadium.
Highlanders congested their midfield with Hillary Madzivanyika, Mthulisi Maphosa, Heritein Masuku, Peter “Rio” Moyo and Milton Ncube, a sure sign Bosso were cautious of Chicken Inn.
They bombarded Chicken Inn with Rio’s effort from inside the box in the 21st minute meeting an alert Nyoni who, two minutes later, also denied Masuku with another brilliant save.
On the break, an out-of-form Madzivanyika was disturbed by Brian Juru, who spotted Mahachi on the run and the left-footed linkman, pushed the ball once and let off a screamer from
outside the box, beating Bosso goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda all systems out.
Highlanders continued to dominate the game into the second half and Nyoni came to Chicken Inn’s rescue once again in the 47th minute, safely collecting a Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube strike from inside the penalty box.
Masuku engineered another move from the right flank, ingeniously pushed the ball to Bruce Tshuma who set up Maphosa inside the box, but the midfielder narrowly missed the right upright post in the 53rd minute.
Highlanders substitution of Madzivanyika for Erick Mudzingwa and Simon Munawa for Masuku did not yield any positive results with young Ozias Zibande, who replaced Tshiki, finding his brilliant header punched away for a corner by Nyoni two minutes before full time.
Bosso lacked offensive play while Chicken Inn, hanging onto that first-half goal relied on counter-raids with kingpin Tendai Ndoro tightly monitored by Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu and Innocent Mapuranga.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, B Tshuma, B Kangwa, D Ndlovu, I Mapuranga, H Madzivanyika (E Mudzingwa 49th minute), H Masuku (S Munawa 65th minute), M Ncube, P Moyo, M Maphosa, N Ncube (O Zibande 75th minute)
Chicken Inn: N Nyoni, B Mbiriri, G Goddard, T Sibelo, F Chindungwe, D Phiri, T Ndoro, B Juru, C Nkomo, K Mahachi (L Mpofu 90+ minutes), T Mukambi (C Kamhapa 78th minute)