CHICKEN INN . . . . (2) 3
HARARE CITY . . . . . . .1
CHICKEN Inn are the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions!
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The GameCocks clinched the title after dispatching Harare City in an exciting match at Luveve Stadium on Saturday.
This is their first trophy following their promotion to top-flight action in 2011. They clinched the title with a game in hand, after FC Platinum were held to a one all draw by CAPS United at Mandava yesterday.
The Bulawayo side’s conquest with 58 points comes as FC Platinum will only be able to reach 57 points if they beat relegated Dongo Sawmill next Saturday at Vengere, with third-placed Dynamos also getting to 57 if they beat Buffaloes after edging Chapungu 2-0 at Rufaro yesterday.
It was all celebrations for the Chicken Inn players and their fans immediately after they learnt that the Platinum and CAPS United match had ended in a stalemate. They will, however, be officially crowned champions after their last game against Flame Lily at Lafarge in Harare next Saturday.
An ecstatic Chicken Inn gaffer, Joey Antipas could not hide his joy after picking up his second title, winning the first with the now-defunct Motor Action in 2010.
“I am very chaffed with our performance. We knew the destiny of the title was in our own hands and we had to take the bull by its horns. We had good performances throughout the season and we stuck together. Of course, we had a couple of defeats, but we came back together and it is the togetherness that was key. We could have won it with four games remaining, but it is never easy to win the championship,” Antipas said.
Chicken Inn got two quick goals in the first half, with Moses Majika’s weak-looking ball from the right, which appeared to be a cross hitting the left upright post before rolling into the nets in the 13th minute after Harare City goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangendengu failed to cut across for the ball.
Five minutes later, midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu flicked the ball off an advancing Nyamupangendengu and easily pushed the ball into an empty net.
But Harare City did not give up and a beautiful build-up by an impressive Kudakwashe Kumwala and bustling striker Francesco Zekumbawire paid off on the half hour mark as the latter set up Talent Chawapihwa, who made no mistake and beat Chicken Inn goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze with a shot to the far post from the left.
Harare City continued to pressurise the hosts, but their spirits were dampened by the third goal by Michelle Katsvairo off an Edmore Chiramabadare pass six minutes before the final whistle.
Coach Taurai Mangwiro said a top-eight finish would now be difficult for his Harare City after the defeat.
“We allowed them to score two goals which could have been averted and then came the sucker punch when we were careless going forward. We now even have a threat of losing out on a top-eight finish,” he said.