Ngezi pluck Chicken Inn out of Chibuku Cup
Chicken Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(1) 1 Ngezi Platinum Stars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
By Fungai Muderere
Just when everybody in the local football fraternity expected fans to behave like toddlers who have just found their parent’s stash of sweets when watching live football action for the first time after close to two years, it turned out not to be at Mhondoro’s Baobab Stadium as the match was poorly attended.
Maybe it was because fans had to part with between US$20 and US$50 to watch the Chibuku Super Cup matches.
The tickets were on sale last Thursday and Friday with fans required to produce their national identity cards and vaccination cards at the entry points.
However, on the field of play the first Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final tie between Chicken Inn and Ngezi Platinum Stars turned out to be a spectacle and ensured that it was well worth the wait for a handful of fans that graced the magnificent Baobab Stadium.
Hard running and skillful Brian Muza thrust Chicken Inn into the lead eight minutes into play when his well taken shot beat a diving Nelson Chadya on his right.
Muza found the target following a good combination play with substitute Obriel Chirinda.
Chirinda was introduced in the fourth minute after Gamecocks were forced to pull out injured Leroy Ndlovu.
Ngezi Platinum Stars got their equaliser in the 17th minute courtesy of a well taken curling free kick by ex-Warriors and Dynamos midfield genius Denver Mukamba.
Mukamba’s breathtaking effort from outside beat Chicken Inn goalkeeper Donovan Bernard all systems out.
Eight minutes before the breather Nyasha Chintuli nodded home a Bruno Mtingo inviting cross to make it two for the miners.
In the second stanza, Gamecocks came back a determined lot but their forwards chief among them being Muza, Chirinda and Munashe Pini took turns to miss glorious chances that were created by impressive George Majika, Passmore Bernard and Clive Dzingai.
Gamecocks head coach Joey Antipas conceded defeat.
“We did very well especially in the second half. We came back very strongly. I think we went to sleep after the goal we scored. It’s sad we conceded from set pieces. It was a great goal from Denver Mukamba but we could have defended the second goal better. It was unfortunate we wasted a lot of chances that came our way,” said Antipas.
His opposite number Rodwell Dhlakama said: “It was a difficult game, a real battle between us and Chicken Inn. I’m happy that we have managed to sail through to the semi-finals. Chicken Inn came out strongly in the second half but the two goals that we scored in the first half helped us. We are not worried on who will be our next opponents. We just need to remain mentally strong and physically fit.”
Today, Dynamos take on Black Rhinos while Cranborne Bullets fight it out with Harare City at the same venue.
Chicken Inn: D Bernard, P Bernard, B Muza, N Ketala, M Jackson, S Mhlanga, C Dzingayi, P Govere, B Amidu (Gaki 63mins) L Ndlovu (Chirinda 4 mins) M Pini (Majika 63 mins)
Ngezi Platinum Stars: N Chadya, K Chigwida, D Mukamba (Makuva 73mins) P Moyo, B Mtigo, Q Amini (Murera 53mins) A Kaseke, A Chivandire (Taderera 64mins) M Mukumba, N Chintuli, D Chafa. The Sunday News