By Innocent Kurira
Highlanders 0 – 1 Chicken Inn
(match rained off in the 55th minute)
The abandoned Zimbabwe National Army Charities Shield semi-final encounter pitting Bulawayo rivals Highlanders and Chicken Inn is set to be completed at Luveve Stadium today at 10am.
The exciting Bulawayo derby at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday was brought to an abrupt end in the 55th minute due to heavy rains and lightning, with 10-men Chicken Inn leading through a fourth-minute goal by Clemence Matawu.
Left-back Devine Lunga was sent for an early shower for stepping on Godfrey Makaruse, who had fallen from his challenge.
Bosso, however, failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage.
Spokesperson for the tournament organisers Lieutenant-Colonel Fabion Chitungo said the game would be completed today weather permitting.
“The game was stopped in the 55th minute as the officials had problems with the light. After consultations, we have decided that the game will continue tomorrow (today) at Luveve Stadium at 10AM. We have chosen Luveve because it has a better drainage than Barbourfields,” said Chitungo.
Entry into the stadium will be free.Veteran midfielder Matawu gave the GameCocks an early lead with a low shot from inside the box after capitalising on a defensive mix-up.
An intended back pass to Charlton Siamalonga from right-back McClive Phiri was intercepted by striker Darryl Nyandoro.
He fed former Bosso midfielder Simon Munanwa, who unleashed a thunderbolt that goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda punched to Matawu, who finished with ease.
For a moment, it looked as if Chicken Inn were going to overrun Bosso, but coach Mandida Ndlovu’s youngsters held their own with a promising passing game.
Both sides then struggled to create any meaningful chances, with Chicken Inn seemingly content with a one goal lead, as they showed little intent going forward.
The midfield trio of Munawa, Innocent Muchaneka and Matawu exhibited some neat interchanges in the middle of the park, but there was little to talk about going forward.
Bosso searched for an equaliser but could not breach the Chicken Inn defence marshalled by Moses Jackson and new acquisition Kudzai Chideu.
Although Bosso looked promising, they lacked the finishing touch, with young Thabo Lunga who was leading the attack showing some good touches, but struggled to break through.
Roving Bosso right-back Phiri sent in a number of delightful crosses into the box, but they found no takers.
Bosso fans were on their feet a number of times as former FC platinum midfielder Nigel Mukombe exhibited some fancy foot work in the middle of the park.
Teams returned from the break to be greeted by a heavy downpour. With 10 minutes played in the second half, darkness and lightning resulted in referee Philan Ncube calling the teams off the pitch.
The downpour became heavier leaving the pitch flooded, exposing Barbourfields Stadium’s poor drainage.
Chicken Inn: Elvis Chipezeze, Passmore Bernard, Devine Lunga, Kudzai Chideu, Moses Jackson, Clemence Matawu, Simon Munawa (Thabani Goredema 45 minutes) , Innocent Muchaneka, George Majika, Darrel Nyandoro (Obriel Chirinda), Obadiah Tarumbwa
Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Charlton Siamalonga, Honest Moyo, McClive Phiri, Adrian Silla, Ray Lunga (Ozias Zibande 55 minutes) Ben Musaka, Godfrey Makaruse, Thabo Lunga, Peter Muduhwa, Nigel Mukombe.