Highlanders, Chicken Inn share spoils

0
321
HIGHLANDERS coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu

BY FORTUNE MBELE

HIGHLANDERS . . . (1) 1

CHICKEN INN . . . . .(0) 1

HIGHLANDERS and Chicken Inn shared spoils in a rather lukewarm Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.

Godfrey Makaruse thrust Highlanders in the lead in the 21st minute, getting to the end of a Lynoth Chikuhwa cross from the right in what was a bright opening by the hosts.

They failed to build on their early dominance or hold onto their lead, with Chicken Inn equalising in the 76th minute through Brian Muza.

It was his eighth goal of the season

Muza took a quick free-kick and received a return pass from Xolani Ndlovu to beat goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, who otherwise had a good day in office shutting out the GameCocks on a number of occasions.

The coaches Mandla Mpofu and Joey Antipas were happy to share spoils after a tough match.

“It was a very tough game. Chicken Inn have got depth. We started very fast and scored first, which was a positive. We could have done better by defending that goal. These are big games which need big match officials. The free-kick given to Chicken Inn was a soft one,” Mpofu said.

“It was a highly-contested game. Both teams went at one another. The game was not a spectacle. Both teams fought hard but, in the end, it was a fair result. We gave Highlanders some problems in the second half. That referee could have handled the game well had he flashed cards,” Antipas
said.

Both sides had their chances in the first half, with Chicken Inn’s Muza selfish in the 10th minute after a neat solo run, but opted to shoot into a crowded defence, while fellow striker Malvin Hwata was unmarked.

Makaruse narrowly missed the upright in the 18th minute before scoring three minutes later.

In the 24th minute, Chicken Inn goalkeeper Donovan Bernard saved a Stanley Ngala effort inside the box and the ball was swung to the other end, where Bosso shot stopper Sibanda made a save from a Hwata shot.

Muza, on the rebound, had his effort cleared for a corner-kick.

Two minutes before the break, Muza watched his header sail over the bar.

Highlanders got chances to get three points towards the end of the game, but Mpofu’s charges wasted the opportunities.

Teams

Highlanders: A Sibanda, A Tandi, Mhindirira, L Chikuhwa (C Ncube, 71’), N Masuku, G Makaruse (D Munkuli, 71’), A Mbeba, A Silla, P Muduhwa, S Ngala, M Ndlovu (W Navaya, 58’)

Chicken Inn: D Bernard, R Hachiro, P Bernard (M Charamba, 70’), N Ketala, M Jackson, B Amidu, I Mabunu, X Ndlovu, S Mhlanga (G Majika, 70’) M Hwata (B Ncube, 60’), B Muza

  • Follow Fortune on Twitter @fmbele