By Munyaradzi Musiiwa
A SOMBRE atmosphere engulfed Gweru yesterday after the city’s longest serving Premier Soccer League team – Chapungu – were sent tumbling out of the top-flight after the point they garnered in their final match at Ascot proved inadequate to save them from the chop.
Their Gweru neighbours Telone, who succumbed to 4-1 defeat to Chicken Inn at Barbourfields will be back in Division One next year.
Not even Denver Mukamba’s brace either side of the interval could save Chapungu from going under as only a victory would have guaranteed the airmen survival, regardless of results elsewhere.
Yet Chapungu took control of the game from the early stages and found the back of the net after just two minutes when 2012 Soccer Star of the Year Mukamba beat Ariel Sibanda after some good build up play.
The visitors,however, restored parity in the 22nd minute when Nqobizitha Masuku riffled home from a set piece.
The match was momentarily disrupted in the 30th minute when Highlanders fans started throwing missiles onto the pitch in protest against some of the referee’s decisions.
Highlanders then took the lead three minutes later through an own goal by Emmanuel Chitauro who beat his own goalkeeper while trying to intercept a cross from Ray Lunga.
Mukamba, who seems to have revived his career at Chapungu restored parity in the 49th minute when he weaved past the Highlanders defence and fired home from close range.
Chapungu Coach Thomas Chinyan’anya was disappointed with the result and blamed the referee for denying them what he claimed were two genuine penalties from handling offences.
“We were supposed to have collected maximum points in this match. We created a lot of chances but failed to convert them into goals. It is disappointing result.
“I am not happy with the type of officiating that I saw today. We were supposed to have been given two clear penalties. We could have survived,” he said.
Highlanders gaffer Hendrikus Pieter De Jongh was also disappointed with the result.
“We wanted to win this match and finish on a better position. We conceded a goal early although we managed to come back into the game. We were also unlucky because we fluffed some chances in the second half.
“We conceded the second goal in second half because we lacked focus,” he said.
The draw meant that Bosso finished on fifth place. The Sunday Mail