BY SINDISO DUBE in bulawayo
Chicken Inn FC……(3) 3
Highlanders FC……(0) 0
The highly-anticipated Bulawayo derby pitting Chicken Inn and struggling Highlanders FC had to endure a 20-minute stoppage after scenes of violence from Bosso supporters protesting against Clive Augusto’s goal, which they believed the Gamecocks striker scored in an offside position.
Augusto’s 37th minute drive into goal after a long pass from the midfield sent the Highlanders faithful into an overdrive of violent reaction, protesting against the referee’s decision to award the home team a second goal.
The match had to be stopped for close to 20 minutes as police tried to control violent fans who were throwing missiles into the field of play. Some hooligans even invaded the pitch and manhandled the match officials.
Play then resumed after more security details were deployed in the stadium as Chicken Inn’s Bret Amidu added more misery to an already deflated Highlanders team.
Amidu, found his brace five minutes into stoppage time by capitalising on a blunder by McClive Phiri, who was off-form throughout the match. This gave Chicken Inn’s third goal, which literally sank Bosso’s hopes for a comeback.
Amidu had opened the scoring from a long-range free kick on the 26-minute mark, sending the Gamecocks fans into wild celebrations.
Tension is high in the Bosso camp, who have gone for seven games without a win — managing four draws and three defeats — and have not scored a goal at home in the current season, which has left coach Madinda Ndlovu facing an uncertain future.
After locking himself in the dressing room with his players after the game when he was supposed to be attending to the media for the post-match interviews, the under-fire Bosso coach finally came out and hinted on throwing in the towel.
“We had a very bad day in office; we started off very well and strong. But the first goal dismantled the whole game plan and killed the boys’ morale. We did not match Chicken Inn man to man; the reaction to the game and attempts at goal were very poor,” Madinda said.
“I cannot tell if any change can happen in the coming games if we are to judge from this afternoon’s match. Tempers are still high, I think players are low and I have only encouraged them to soldier on, they are Highlanders with me or without me — that’s the same crop that will play in the next game next weekend, one game can change the situation whether I am there or not,” he said.
Gamecocks gaffer Joey Antipas said his charges played according to instruction and game plan.
“Our plan worked perfectly, we knew that Highlanders were coming for a win. This was one match they needed to win, but we went in there knowing they would come hard at us in the first 20 minutes, which they did, but once we soaked the pressure we hit them on the break,” he said.
Highlanders started the match on a high note, controlling ball possession, but all changed when Amidu scored the free kick, which beat goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.
Efforts by Bosso forwards to get a goal were thwarted by a well-marshalled Chicken Inn backline which had Guide Goddard and Moses Jackson, who were disciplined throughout the match and maintained their positional discipline and dealt with Prince Dube and Tinashe Makanda well.
Veteran Clemence Matawu controlled the midfield, having the better of Adrian Silla, who was a pale shadow of himself. Matau was substituted in the 52nd minute for forward Obriel Chirinda, who caused more havoc for the Bosso defence and almost scored from four attempts.
Highlanders were denied a chance to pull one back after Zambian Peter Nyirenda was adjudged to have been offside when scoring a goal.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League results and fixtures
Yesterday: Chicken Inn 3-0 Highlanders, ZPC Kariba 1-0 Ngezi Platinum, Harare City 0-0 Bulawayo Chiefs, Mushowani Stars 2-0 Black Rhinos
Today: Triangle v CAPS United (Gibbo); Yadah v Dynamos (Rufaro); Herentals v Manica Diamonds (NSS); TelOne v FC Platinum (Luveve); Hwange v Chapungu (Colliery)