The Sunday Mail
Fungai Muderere in Bulawayo
IT took about 30 minutes for Highlanders technical manager Madinda Ndlovu to arrive for his post-match press conference.
And when he walked in he looked like a dead man walking and when he opened his mouth to speak, he sounded like a man on the verge of resigning after Highlanders were soundly handed a spicy three-piecer by Chicken Inn at Barbourfields yesterday.
Bosso were so poor that Ndlovu expressed doubts that he was the man to turn around the fortunes of the ailing giants who have gone for seven games without a win and a goal at their fortress.
So good were Chicken Inn that the second goal, which caused a 20-minute stoppage following crowd trouble, did not flatter a disjointed Highlanders who lost thanks to the boots of two-goal hero Bret Amidu and the country’s leading scorer Clive Augusto.
All the three goals were scored in the first half.
Amidu drew first blood in the 26th minute after his well taken free-kick from outside the box went past Bosso’s one-man wall and proceeded to beat a diving Ariel Sibanda on his right. In the 37th minute, enterprising Amidu released a defence-splitting pass that saw Augusto – now on six goals- out pace a jittery Andrew Mbeba before he let loose a hard and low shot to make it two for Gamecocks. Instead of playing to the whistle, the entire Bosso rearguard called for an offside on Augusto but the second assistant referee Brilliant Sibanda kept his flag down and the goal stood.
Consequently, Emagumeni briefly turned to a war zone, as Bosso followers threw missiles onto the pitch in protest.
The mayhem caused a lengthy break during which local football enthusiasts shockingly witnessed one Bosso supporter jump the perimeter fence at Empakweni End before he proceeded into the field of play and temporarily manhandled an unfortunate assistant referee.
Police reinforcement had to be called to the venue and it was not before long that sanity was restored.
However, Bosso went on to collapse under the weight of the Gamecocks pressure as the home team of the day got their third goal courtesy of an intelligent Amidu chip inside the box two minutes before the breather.
The Chicken Inn midfielder took advantage of Mbeba’s indecisiveness and poked the ball home.
“It was a bad day in office. We started off very well but the first goal dismantled us. We did not really match Chicken Inn.
“Even after trying to change our playing system the boys had already gave up. It’s a pity to say that. I cannot tell the minute when change will happen in the team.
“Whether I’m there or not the boys need to soldier on. Do you think the situation is normal at Highlanders?” quizzed Ndlovu.
There is no such nightmare however, for Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas.
“We planned for them and it perfectly worked for us. This is one game Highlanders wanted to win but I’m happy we soaked the pressure and hit them on the break.
“We put them on double pressing and they then fizzled out after creating lots of chances. However, our rhythm was disrupted by that lengthy stoppage,” said Antipas.