Chicken Inn were held to a goalless draw by Chapungu in Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter played at Ascot Stadium yesterday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Joey Antipas’ side last won a league match at Ascot in 2015 and their struggles continued yesterday, as they failed to find the back of the net despite getting good chances.
Having won their last two matches against Caps United and Bulawayo City, Antipas was disappointed as his side for the second time this season failed to collect maximum points at the same venue.
“Ascot is our voodoo ground, it’s always difficult playing here and today’s game was always going to be a difficult game. We only won at Ascot once, but today we had the better exchanges and we could have won the game,” he said.
“The ground is bumpy and that affected our play. We got a number of chances which we could have buried. It is always difficult when you dominate and eventually draw.
That’s the nature of the game, we have to keep on working hard. Of course, our attackers let us down, but we have to improve and it’s not only us with a poor strike force.”
Chapungu assistant coach Clement Mugari expressed satisfaction with his side’s performance, having lost their two previous encounters.
“To us, this is a good result considering that we lost our last two games. I must applaud Rodwell Dlakama for coming in and motivating the players. Getting a draw against a strong team like Chicken Inn is an achievement,” Mugari said.
Chapungu looked bright with Dlakama in his first game in charge of the Air Force side.
They dominated the early exchanges and could have scored on the 23rd minute when Brighton Mugoni hit the cross bar with a powerful header inside the box, with Chicken Inn goal keeper Pride Zendera a beaten.
Phillip Marufu’s follow up was a tame effort.
Moments later, Edmore Muzanenhamo also hit the upright post with a long range shot from a freekick on the half-hour mark.
The hosts kept prodding and 40 minutes into the game, Mugoni was picked by Bastos Chihowa in the box, but the former’s shot was cleared off the line by George Majika.
Although Antipas’ men had a slow start to game, they had chances, but their striker’s lack of cutting edge was their Achilles heel.
Talbert Shumba proved his mettle in goals for the airmen.
Passmore Bernard almost scored on the 24th minute, after a quick interchange of passes that involved Clemence Matawu.
Talbert Shumba produced a fine save to deny Bernard’s curling effort.
Just before the break, Matawu shredded the Chapungu defence into pieces before picking Majika whose left-footer was tipped over the bar by Shumba.
Allan Tavariswa almost scored on the 75 minute mark when he weaved past two Chapungu defenders on the right flank, but his final effort was cleared off the line by Bernard with goalkeeper Pride Zendera beaten.