AN INSPIRED second half performance by Chicken Inn helped them post a crucial victory over log leaders Highlanders in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Bosso came into the match hoping to stretch the lead between them and second placed Ngezi Platinum to five points, but they came unstuck after another lifeless display in the derby.
The encounter lacked the anticipated flair for a derby, but the turning point came in the 60th minute when Chicken Inn introduced striker Brian Muza who had passed a late fitness test.
Muza was the answer to what had been lacking in the match when he showed predatory instincts. After a neat build up by the Gamecocks, the ball landed at the feet of Leslie Lunga who squared it up for Muza to fire home.
The goal spurred the Gamecocks on and it was not a surprise when Michael Charamba scored the second for the Prince Matore-coached outfit with a minute left on the clock.
Matore, whose charges looked hungrier of the two teams, said their strategy of keeping it simple worked in their favour.
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"We are happy. It's good to win away from home. If we collect maximum points at home and away, we can make our lives easier. So these three points are crucial,” said Matore.
"The strategy was the need to show character, the confidence, we had to try to express ourselves without any pressure becausewe knew that Highlanders has a number of supporters rooting for the team. So it was important for us to calm our nerves and do the simple things and it helped.”
Bosso coach Jose Baltemar Brito, who lost his first league match at BF since he took over at Highlanders took the blame for the defeat, highlighting the injury-forced substitution of Darlington Mukuli in the 25th minute as a setback to their game plan.
"I want to take the responsibility for this defeat. We had a plan in the first half. With that setback, (whether the substitution was good or bad), at least it was 0-0. At halftime we tried to change. Maybe we did it by emotions because we wanted to win today to open the gap at the top. But sometimes in football, two plus two gives zero.
"Sometimes people think that it's a derby, we are at home, this is Highlanders. So this is a point to emphasise that emotions can kill some plans. So we lost and we take the responsibility for the defeat," said Brito.
Highlanders have now lost two matches in a row, having gone for 19 matches unbeaten. They take on arch-rivals Dynamos in their next match.
Ariel Sibanda, Calvin Chigonero (W Navaya 64), Lynoth Chikuhwa, Brighton Manhire (Mason Mushore 67), Andrew Mbeba, Peter Muduhwa, Stanley Ngala, Darlington Mukuli (E Farasi 25'), Archiford Faira, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Melikhaya Ncube
Bernard Donovan, Malvin Hwata, Michael Charamba (O Malajila 90), Mpumelelo Bhebhe, Richard Hachiro, Nielson Ketala, Genius Mutungamiri (D Jaricha 83), Leslie Lunga, Shepard Mhlanga, Xolani Ndlovu, George Majika (B Muza 60).