BY FORTUNE MBELE
BULAWAYO Chiefs lifted themselves out of the relegation zone when they beat visiting Mushowani Stars in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Luveve Stadium yesterday.
A brace in the first half by Ghanaian Francis Darkpata and a second half goal by substitute Farau Matare saw Chiefs move out of the danger zone to position 13 on the log-table with 31 points.
Next up for them is a tough encounter against FC Platinum at Mandava on Saturday.
Shadreck Nyahwa sent the Ghanaian through in the 14th minute and the striker rounded off goalkeeper Admire Masuku before tapping the ball in with Mushowani defenders in escort.
Darkpata came again in the 23rd minute, in a move initiated by Nyahwa who spotted Shepherd Mhlanga on the right and the latter’s shot was spilled by goalkeeper Masuku and the Ghanaian finished off the rebound.
Sylon Chikwerengwe scored for Mushowani on the 76th minute in a goalmouth melee giving hope to the visitors for a comeback. The away side were stronger in the second half against the hosts who looked content to defend their lead.
But they were finished off by Matare 10 minutes before the final whistle who finished off a rebound from an Arthur Musiyiwa effort.
Bulawayo Chiefs coach Thulani Sibanda is happy that his side is out of the relegation zone, and wants to maximise on home advantage in the team’s remaining fixture as they battle to avoid relegation.
“It was a good game, but the fixtures are tricky. We have taken it upon ourselves that when we play these teams that we are at par with, especially at home we just have to get positive results. Very tough fixtures ahead, but my boys raise their adrenaline if we play these kind of games and also against big names,” Sibanda said.
His counterpart Newman Mushipe is also hopeful of surviving relegation despite the loss.
“It’s unfortunate we lost. Its very disappointing, but it is a game of football. It was not our day, but its not over until it’s over. There are still some games to play. We go back and regroup and refocus. We defended poorly today,” Mushipe said.