The Sunday Mail
Chicken Inn…………… (0) 1
Chapungu……………… (1) 1
CHICKEN Inn coach, Joey Antipas put on a brave face despite admitting that his team may have lost two valuable points in their quest for the championship. This followed yesterday’s one- all draw between the championship chasers and a visiting Chapungu side at Luveve.
The draw also came on the back of a 0-2 loss to Highlanders in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League midweek fixture last weekend.
Chicken Inn’s dream of reclaiming the title seems to be fading with each match as the side has of late been posting inconsistent results.
Despite dominating the proceedings from the first whistle, it was Chapungu who managed to score first as the visiting team’s first foray into the penalty area yielded a positive result after Ian Nyoni, who was charging toward goal, was brought down by Xolani Ndlovu.
Referee Nkosikhona Moyo immediately pointed to the spot with only 18 minutes on the clock.
Former Soccer Start of the Year, Denver Mukamba stepped up and his powerful shot beat Chicken Inn goalkeeper, Donovan Bernard to give the visitors the lead.
Conceding the goal seemed to have taken the fizz away from the Gamecocks, who allowed Chapungu to come into the game and this saw both sides creating several chances.
The home side came back a rejuvenated side from the breather and piled on the pressure- literally camping in Chapungu’s half.
And it seemed as if the visitors soaked in the pressure well, but that was not until defender Gracious Mleya handled inside the box as Tapiwanashe Kadonzvo was sending the ball into the box in the 70th minute.
Innocent Mucheneka stepped up and converted the spot kick to level scores. Chicken Inn piled on the pressure creating several chances but their players took turns to miss.
Antipas said they are not losing faith despite struggling to collect maximum points and will fight till the end for the championship.
“We dominated the entire game but unfortunately we lacked the cutting edge to find the back of the nets.
“We are struggling with coming up with consistent performances and are losing points. For me this would be two points lost instead of one gained.
“However, we are not going to give up and we are going to fight till the last game,” he said.
Antipas rued letting Clive Augusto go after they had released Obadiah Tarumbwa, saying goals have dried following the departure of the league’s leading goal scorer, who moved to South Africa after having scored 14 goals.
Chapungu’s coach Weddington Chinyanganya was pleased with his side’s performance saying coming up with a draw away from home against a team like Chicken Inn was a good achievement.
“I am happy with the performance, we gave it our best and our game plan worked as we had planned to congest the midfield and starve their supply of balls to the strikers and I think the result shows we did well,” he said.
Chicken Inn remain second with 42 points behind log leaders Caps United who have so far amassed 44 points and are in action today against Mushowani while Chapungu now have 33 points.