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Chicken Inn subdue Hwange

by Ricky Zililo
09 Sep 2016 at 06:59hrs | Views
Chicken Inn 1-0 Hwange
LIKE wine that matures with age, Chicken Inn midfielder Clemence Matawu played a blinder to inspire his side to a deserved victory over visiting Hwange in yesterday's Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Luveve Stadium.

The 33-year-old Chicken Inn star controlled the midfield with aplomb, justifying coach Rahman Gumbo's decision to hand him the captain's armband after the departure of Danny Phiri for South African Premiership side Golden Arrows during the July transfer window.

Although Matawu wasn't on target, the 2006 Soccer Star of the Year rolled back the years and tormented the Hwange midfielders with his tricky moves.

In the fourth minute, Matawu created the game's first clear-cut scoring opportunity for striker Moses Demera, heading the ball into his path, but the striker shot straight into the hands of a grateful Hwange goalkeeper Future Sibanda in a face-to-face situation.

Matawu almost scored when he ghosted in from the blind side to connect a Nicholas Muchadeyi cross from the right in the 16th minute, but his effort agonisingly missed the target.

It was an all-Chicken Inn show in the first half and with a bit of luck and precision in front of goal, they could have buried the visitors before the break.

Hwange returned from the breather full of promise and could have gone ahead in the 47th minute when midfielder Innocent Mucheneka's free-kick took an awkward bounce forcing Chicken Inn keeper Elvis Chipezeze to summon all his reflexes to tip the ball over the bar.

Sensing danger, Gumbo made a tactical double substitution in the 55th minute, pulling out George Majika and Demera for Chris Samakweri and Ishmael Lawe, a move that immediately tilted the game in favour of the home team.

Chicken Inn then took the lead on the hour mark when Hwange defender Wilfred Murweyi brought down Lawe in the box and second assistant referee Thomas Kusosa flagged for a penalty, which Passmore Bernard easily converted.

Hwange tried to come back, but couldn't breach the champions' defence and compact midfield. The coalminers could, however, have stolen a point at the death had Newman Sianchali not fluffed a clear scoring chance in the 90th minute when he failed to direct his effort at goal after being fed by Collen Muleya.

National team midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu also blew a glorious scoring opportunity after that by failing to convert a cutback from overlapping left-back Devine Lunga. He shot straight at keeper Sibanda.

Hwange coach Mebelo Njekwa said they missed the league's leading scorer Gift Mbweti, who was serving a one match suspension for accumulating three yellow cards.

"It was an evenly balanced game and we knew they would come at us. Our game plan was to absorb pressure and start playing later, but unfortunately we had static strikers and really missed Mbweti who moves into the midfield and back into attack. His absence made implementation of our game plan difficult," said Njekwa.

His Chicken Inn counterpart Gumbo could even afford to brag. "If I may be diplomatic, it was just a matter of how many goals we were going to score because Hwange never gave us a scare. It was as if they came here for a draw," said Gumbo.

Source - chronicle