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Chicken Inn back on champ track

By Ricky Zililo

Bulawayo’s best performing Castle Lager Premier Soccer League team Chicken Inn got their championship hopes back on track by collecting maximum points against Manica Diamonds on Sunday following two consecutive defeats.

Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas

At a time when the other two struggling city sides Highlanders and Bulawayo Chiefs continue to search for their first win of the season and languish in the relegation zone, Chicken Inn are keeping up with the championship chasing pack.

The Gamecocks beat Manica Diamonds 2-0 at Gibbo Stadium in Triangle to recover from identical 1-0 defeats to Ngezi Platinum Stars and FC Platinum.

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The win pushed Chicken Inn a place up the league table to fourth place with 12 points from six games, just two points behind leaders FC Platinum, who were held to a 0-0 draw by Herentals.

“It was important for us to win the game and get the three points after playing some good football. To be honest, it was important to win against Manica Diamonds after those two painful defeats that almost destroyed players’ confidence.

“I’m happy that the players responded well and this certainly gives them more reason to believe that we can challenge for the championship. We just have to build from this victory to keep our momentum,” said Joey Antipas, the Chicken Inn coach.

Chicken Inn’s next game is a derby against Highlanders and they go into the match with morale high in their camp powered by the league’s leading scorer Clive Augusto with five goals from six games.

The Gamecocks are tipped to waltz past Bulawayo’s troubled and fading giants.

Chicken Inn’s real championship threat is Caps United, who are on 13 points and have played a game less than the other top four sides.

Caps United edged Harare City 1-0 at the weekend, with former Highlanders’ winger Gabriel Nyoni grabbing the winner.

It could be too early to group the top four as the top championship contenders as clubs like Ngezi Platinum Stars and ZPC Kariba cannot be ruled out of the race.

Ngezi managed to put aside a players’ uproar over incentives to beat TelOne 1-0 on Saturday.

ZPC Kariba, who are on 12 points, fluffed an opportunity to shoot to the top of the table when they fell 0-1 to Dynamos, who ended a four-match winless run.

For Dynamos, it was a huge victory as it lifted them three places up the table to 11th place with seven points. The Chronicle

Match Day Six results

Saturday:

-Bulawayo Chiefs 2-3 Yadah

-Ngezi Platinum Stars 1-0 TelOne

-Black Rhinos 2-1 Triangle United

-FC Platinum 0-0 Herentals.

Sunday:

-Dynamos 1-0 ZPC Kariba

-Manica Diamonds 0-2 Chicken Inn

-Chapungu 2-1 Mushowani-

-Highlanders 0-0 Hwange

-Caps United 1-0 Harare City.

Table

P W D L F A GD Pts

FC Platinum 6 4 2 0 9 3 6 14

Caps United 5 4 1 0 9 1 8 13

Hwange 6 4 1 1 7 4 3 13

Chicken Inn 6 4 0 2 9 4 5 12

ZPC Kariba 6 4 0 2 6 5 1 12

Chapungu 5 3 1 1 10 4 6 10

Ngezi Platinum 6 3 1 2 6 5 1 10

Black Rhinos 5 2 2 1 7 7 0 8

Herentals 6 1 4 1 3 3 0 7

Triangle United 6 2 1 3 7 8 -1 7

Dynamos 6 2 1 3 5 6 -1 7

Manica Diamonds 6 2 1 3 6 8 -2 7

TelOne 6 1 3 2 2 3 -1 6

Harare City 6 2 0 4 6 9 -3 6

Yadah 6 1 2 3 5 9 -4 5

Highlanders 6 0 4 2 2 5 -3 4

Mushowani 6 0 2 4 4 9 -5 2

Bulawayo Chiefs 5 0 0 5 3 14 -11 0

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