Chicken Inn and Quelaton’s Division One rivalry resumes when the two clubs lock horns in a Castle Lager Premiership football match at Luveve Stadium tomorrow.
The GameCox are buoyant after dismissing Caps United 2-0 at Gwanzura Stadium last Saturday and look set to garner another three points as they face Quelaton, who have lost their first two matches in the Premiership.
Two second-half goals by former Railstars hitman Lenience Mpofu and Evans Chikwaikwai in Harare ensured Chicken Inn bagged three points after a goalless draw with Gunners in their first match.
On the other hand, Premiership debutants Quelaton lost their two matches, 4-3 to Hwange at the Colliery and 3-0 to Shabanie Mine at Luveve last Saturday.
But tomorrow’s match might bring back memories of the two clubs’ Premiership promotion duels of 2008 and 2009 before Chicken Inn were eventually promoted to the top-flight league in 2010.
Quelaton missed out on a chance to gain promotion to the Premiership after losing all their matches in the Zifa play-offs in Kwekwe and Redcliff in 2009, which saw Black Mambas rejoin the elite football league, but they were elevated this year after winning the Zifa Southern Region championship last year.
Chicken Inn gaffer Adam “Adamski” Ndlovu yesterday said tomorrow’s match would be a money game and his boys should forget about the win against the Green Machine and focus on Quelaton.
“Last week was a tough match but we managed to win. Obviously coming from a win, the spirits are high, but that game is past and the boys must focus on Quelaton. This one is like a money game. We respect Quelaton. They are a good side and we will approach the game like all other matches,” Ndlovu said.
A new-look Chicken Inn that has Mpofu, Chikwaikwai, former FC Platinum’s Brighton Dube, ex-Hardbody’s Moses Jackson and former Masvingo United’s Walter Mukanga pounced on the former Cup Kings on their turf last Saturday.
Also in the line-up was shot-stopper Njabulo Nyoni, Hebert Dick, Thomas Chimenya, Tendai Ndoro, Guide Goddard, Brian Mbiriri and Felix Chindungwe.
Quelaton head coach Thulani Sibanda yesterday said local derbies were normally decided by the players and said he had been working flat out on his defence that has conceded seven goals in two matches.
“We have not pressed any panic buttons yet. This is a local derby and matches like these are decided by the players. It’s a game that belongs to the players and not the coaches. Local derbies can go either way, but we are obviously hoping for the best. We have been working on our defence.
Conceding seven goals in two matches is very unhealthy. I have basically been working on the defence,” Sibanda.
The Quelaton defence has goalkeeper Lovemore Makwavarara, Prince Ncube, Khumbulani Dube, Joseph Pongolani and Wilberforce Chiramba.
Sibanda said registration hitches had dealt them a blow and he was hoping that by tomorrow, former Highlanders midfielder Arnold “Majaivana” Tshuma, Marshal Machazane, Timothy January and Moses Majika would be part of the team.
Sibanda expressed confidence in his strikers Kundishora Chakanyuka, Fortune Nkomazana and Tedius Mugumanya.
Anchorman Proud Zireni and defender Zibusiso Sibanda are out on suspension. Zireni saw red in Hwange while Sibanda was given his marching orders against Shabanie last Saturday.