BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Chicken Inn ……(1) 1
Ngezi Platinum..(2) 2
Ngezi Platinum Stars talisman Denver Mukamba scored a superb freekick to help his side comeback from a goal down to knock Chicken Inn out of the Chibuku Super Cup in an early quarterfinal kickoff at Baobab Stadium yesterday.
Mukamba, who has successfully resurrected his career under coach Rodwell Dhlakama first at Chapungu and now in Ngezi, cancelled Brian Muza’s early goal.
But it was Nyasha Chinturi who completed Ngezi’s comeback seven minutes before the break, nodding home a Bruno Mtigo chipped cross at the back post.
Ironically, it was Chicken Inn who were the home side at Baobab and as expected found the going tough.
It was end of the road for Joey Antipas’ side who have never progressed beyond the last eight stages in this competition.
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Ngezi Platinum on the other hand remain firmly in the hunt for the coveted trophy, which they won in 2016.
“It was a very difficult game, an epic battle against a very experienced side with a very experienced coach but at the end of the day we managed to win the game which is good for us and for our fans,” coach Dhlakama said after the match.
Surprisingly, Antipas was full of praise for his charges despite the defeat, which ended their flirtation with the tournament this year.
“I thought it was a good game. (It was) a game of two halves. Ngezi did well in the first half and we came back strong in the second half. I was quite pleased with the performance we came up with, so we are just going to take it from there and keep improving,” Antipas said.
Chicken Inn were one of the favourites in the competition after topping the Bulawayo group in the previous round of matches.
They were the first off the block after nosing ahead inside 10 minutes with Muza, who came in as a substitute for Leeroy Ndlovu who pulled his hamstring soon after kickoff, bundling home a pass from Obriel Chirinda.
In the 18th minute Mukamba who was a constant menace for Ngezi early on won a freekick 30 yards out.
He dusted himself and produced a contender for goal of the tournament beating Donovan Bernard who remained rooted to the spot. Munturi scored the winner late in the half.