The Sunday News
Fungai Muderere in Mutare
Cranborne Bullets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Chicken Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2) 4
A ROYAL command performance inspired Castle Lager Premier Soccer League championship hopefuls Chicken Inn to a 4-1 away win over hosts Cranborne Bullets at Mutare’s Sakubva Stadium yesterday.
It was a feat that saw the Gamecocks maintain their stranglehold at the apex of the log standings with 38 points from 18 matches.
Joey Antipas’ men wanted victory, Bullets needed it but clinical goals scored by Bret Amidu , Malvin Whata, Brian Muza and substitute Munashe Pini made the difference on a chilly afternoon where the hosts failed to utilise the advantage of having scored first in the match.
Lanky Jarrison Selemani thrust Bullets into the lead in the 18th minute after his brilliantly taken curling free kick from just outside the box beat a diving Donovan Bernard to his right.
Eight minutes later, Kingsley Mureremba failed to make it further count for the soldiers when his close range effort was saved by Bernard in a one-on-one situation.
In the 28th minute Bret Amidu levelled matters after capitalising on a lapse in concentration from a Cranborne Bullets rearguard letting loose a hard and low shot from inside the box that beat a badly exposed goal minder Tatenda Makoni all systems.
Five minutes before halftime Whata, inflicted pain on his former paymasters when he made it two for the Simbisa Brands sponsored outfit after being setup by impressive Amidu with a clever defence splitting pass.
From the feed, Whata had an easy task to tap the ball home with the goal yawning at his mercy.
Early in the second half Cranborne Bullets asked a lot of questions from the Chicken Inn defence that was made up of Moses Jackson, Guide Goddard, roving pair of Xolani Ndlovu and Michael Charamba.
As a result the Gamecocks technical team had to pull out Charamba for midfield enforcer Richard Hachiro who passed a late fitness test and he produced a brilliant show that saw Chicken Inn start to be dominant in midfield.
Stocky and speedy Chicken Inn regular scorer Brian Muza scored the third goal for the visitors in the 68th minute after a breathtaking exchange of passes in the middle of the park from Antipas’ charges.
Pini, who was introduced deep into the second stanza for arguably man of the match Amidu, killed the match as a contest in the 83rd minute after he converted with a powerful tap in from a Xolani Ndlovu cross.
In his post-match interview, Antipas said he was overjoyed that they executed their game plan so well.
“We had a good game plan which we executed well.
We conceded a brilliant goal but we came back to fight.
We dominated play and we were calm. It was a five star performance, good play from the boys,” said Antipas.
Cranborne Bullets head coach Nesbert Saruchera conceded it was high time they started picking up points.
“Our defence was terrible. We were not up to scratch.
I have seen teams win 1-0 but we failed to do so.
We need to keep on fighting against relegation.
We need to start winning games before it’s too late.
We seriously need to improve,” said Saruchera.
Cranborne Bullets: T Makoni, X Janatana, M Mushangwe, D Mbewe, M Doley, L Zvasiya, T Chibunyu(Meke 55 mins) K Mureremba, M Namakhoma, J Selemani, B Muzondiwa
Chicken Inn: D Bernard, C Dzingai, N Ketala, G Goddard, M Jackson, B Amidu (Pini 69 mins) M Charamba (Hachiro 58mins), X Ndlovu, S Mhlanga, M Whata, B Muza (Majika 69mins)