By Ricky Zililo
Chicken Inn players reacted positively to coach Joey Antipas’ tongue-lashing after last week’s home defeat to Manica Diamonds to turn on the style at Luveve yesterday.
The Gamecocks brought their A-game to outclass Herentals in a rearranged Castle Lager Premiership match.
The move by Antipas to detain the players for about three-hours, and read the Riot Act after their loss to Manica Diamonds, played the trick as Chicken Inn showed the desire to win from the first whistle.
Knowing that victory would catapult them to the top of the table, Chicken Inn survived a seventh- minute Herentals scare to score four goals past their opponents. Young Tinotenda Benza hesitated to stab the ball home, with acres of space in the box, before being dispossessed of the ball.
The 2015 champions now sit at the top due to a superior goal difference, tied on 41 points after 23 matches, with CAPS United.
A spectacular goal by defensive midfielder Tichaona Chipunza, his long-range shot catching Herentals goalie Simbarashe Gondo off guard, opened the floodgates in the 24th minute.
Five minutes before the break, Brett Amidu capitalised on a defensive boob by Carlos Mavhurume to shoot past an advancing Gondo.
Amidu completed his brace in the 51st minute, finishing off a George Majika goal-bound effort on the line. Midfielder Innocent Mucheneka put the game to bed with a well-struck, long-range shot in the 67th minute. “This was a perfect result, as we took our chances well,’’ said Antipas.
Herentals got their face-saver from Juan Mutudza in the 90th minute. Herentals coach, Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva, said his men gifted the hosts their victory.
Chicken Inn: D. Bernard, P. Bernard (B. Nyahunzwi, 81st min), N. Gurende, L. Chakaroma, G. Goddard, T. Chipunza, B. Amidu, I. Mucheneka, V. Kadonzvo, S. Ndlovu (C. Matawu, 58th min), G. Majika (N. Mutatiwa, 85th min)
Herentals: S. Gondo, C. Mavhurume, G. Chinobva, B. Majarira, W. Chimbetu, J. Mutudza, I. Benza (S. Cheya, 65th min), R. Hachiro, W. Kapumha (A. Majarira, 61st min), P. Chota, T. Benza (K. Bingala, 58th min). The Herald