STRIKER Ishmael Lawe was the hero as Chicken Inn handed their beleaguered coach Joey Antipas a welcome tonic with a win over Hwange in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) match played at Luveve Stadium yesterday.
Chicken Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
Hwange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Lawe grabbed the solitary goal in the 84th minute ensuring maximum points after a six-match winless streak.
The win also saw the GameCocks completing a double over Hwange having beaten the coal miners by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture in June.
Chicken Inn moved up the log table to position eight with 24 points from 19 games while Hwange slipped from fourth spot to five with 30 points from the same number of games. Antipas was ecstatic after the win.
“It’s been some time since we won. I believe it is positive for us, grinding the three points which we did. I thought it was a game of two halves. Hwange controlled the first half and put us under immense pressure, but we stood firm,” he said.
“In the second half we changed our game plan because we were playing the long ball and Hwange were winning all the balls in the air. It was a positive result for us. It is a sweet win. It is a relief.”
Hwange coach Nation Dube blamed their loss on concentration lapses towards the end.
“Today we didn’t play our normal game. They restricted us and we ended up playing long balls which we are not used to. We will go back home and see what to do. We cannot say a defeat away from home is OK,” he said.
“We need to get positive results always. We were not playing for a draw and we conceded because of a lapse in concentration.”
Chicken Inn had Brian Mbiriri to thank in the 10th minute when he made a timely clearance after Hwange midfielder Nkosana Siwela headed the ball on the path of striker Gilbert Zulu inside the box.
A minute before the half-hour mark, Rodwell Chinyengetere’s long-range shot was tipped over by Chicken Inn goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, much to the disappointment of the handful Chipangano supporters.
Lawe could have scored for the GameCocks after being set up by Mkhokheli Dube, but his effort did not trouble Hwange shot-stopper Takabva Mawaya in the 31st minute. Three minutes later, Chicken Inn had another opportunity when Mbiriri’s blasted shot from outside the box hit the crossbar. Lawe wasted another chance when he dilly-dallied with the ball inside the box in the 54th minute which saw Hwange recovering.
Two minutes after his introduction for Chicken Inn, Tendai Mukambi could have registered his name on the scoresheet, but shot wide in the 67th minute.
With the match seemingly headed for a stalemate, John Passmore Benard’s cross found Lawe who headed in beating Mawaya on the near post six minutes before time.
E Chipezeze, M Jackson, B Mbiriri, J P Benard, L Mhlanga, B Juru, T Banda ( T Mukambi 65th minute), C Matawu (T Goredema 83RD minute), B Ncube, I Lawe, M Dube (L Chibwiro 80th minute)
T Mawaya, F Vimisayi, (N Sianchali 74th minute), T Chamboko, P Dube, A Chuma, D Boriwondo, M Mungadze, N Siwela, R Chinyengetere, G Ndlovu, G Zulu