HOW MINE shot to the top of the log after a four-match winning streak when they beat nine-man Chicken Inn in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Luveve Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday.
Chicken Inn . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
How Mine . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
The Metallon Gold-sponsored side are now on 13 points after a terrible start to the season that saw them losing their first two matches, drawing the third and winning four on the trot.
Kuda Musharu scored a brace for How Mine in the 31st and 62nd minutes to take his goal tally to six.
Chicken Inn pulled back a facesaver in the 77th minute through Ishamel Lawe.
However, by then Chicken Inn were already a man down after referee Bekezela Makeka flashed the red card at Charles Mutero in the 53rd minute after he had adjudged Mutero for crudely tackling Musharu.
Central defender Ben Nyahunzvi picked up an injury in the 77th minute, but was allowed back in the game.
However, he limped throughout and had to be moved from his familiar position to a possibly less demanding despite the fact that he had been sent to the front as a goal poacher.
Chicken Inn could not replace Nyahunzvi as they had exhausted their three substitutions.
Warriors’ midfielder Danny “Deco” Phiri had to play sweeper in Nyahunzvi’s place.
How Mine coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube said for him this was a grudge match as he had a point to prove to his former paymasters.
“Local derbies are for players. They decide the game, but for me this was an old grudge. I lost my job at Chicken Inn after I was unceremoniously dismissed. I had to prove a point. It was personal. I wanted to get two goals and I knew that these guys China (Chicken Inn assistant coach Sikhumbuzo Banda) and Siza (goalkeepers’ coach Julius Ndlovu) never learnt the way I defend,” he said.
Chicken Inn head coach Joey Antipas gave credit to his players saying even though only nine of them finished the game they carried themselves well.
“I will give the boys credit for fighting. In the end we could have levelled because we created four clear chances, but we lost,” Antipas said.
“I hope they dust themselves up and move on. I think the red card was a bit harsh because I thought it was supposedly a yellow card, but we have to move on. I would say Brian (Mbiriri) brings influence to the team, but we have other players with depth. George Majika and Toto Banda are out injured.”
How Mine could have scored 21 minutes into the match when they were awarded an indirect free-kick inside the Chicken Inn box following a foul by Mutero.
Mupera hit the wall with Moses Jackson pushing it out for a corner which did not yield anything.
In the 26th minute Bhekimpilo Ncube failed to connect Canaan Nkomo’s cross.
Wonder Sithole’s quick throw-in in the 31st minute saw Musharu collecting the ball and racing towards goal beating his marker and the goalkeeper Liberty Chirava to score.
At the stroke of half-time Mutero saved Chicken Inn from conceding when he cleared Sithole’s shot off the line.
In the 62nd minute Xolisani Moyo’s shot had to be punched away by Chirava, but it only went as far as Edmore Muzanenhamo who sent a cross to Musharu who ensured the second goal for How Mine.
Substitute Lawe who had come in for Nkomo in the 46th minute pulled one back after a long searching ball from the back found him and he took advantage of a defensive mix-up between Gilbert Banda and George Magariro.
Chicken inn who seemed rejuvenated in the last 15 minutes of the match, could have levelled the scoreline had Thabani Goredema been more accurate, but he hit the side net in the 85th minute.
L Chirava, M Jackson, J Benard, C Mutero, B Nyahunzvi, D Phiri, B Juru, B Ncube (T Goredema 64th minute), C Nkomo (I Lawe 46th minute), C Matawu, T Mukambi (M Dube 69th minute)
E Mazarura, X Moyo, B Dube, G Banda, G Magariro, E Muzanenhamo, N Mukumbi, M Mupera, K Musharu (B Marere 78th minute), W Sithole, T January