Ref had right to end match

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

THERE was may­hem at the end of the Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League match be­tween High­landers and Chicken Inn at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium yes­ter­day when ref­eree Nkosikhona Moyo blew for full­time just as the Game­cocks scored what could have been the win­ning goal.

Lewis Kutinyu found him­self un­marked in­side the box deep into the two min­utes of the ref­eree’s op­tional time and High­landers play­ers stood akimbo ex­pect­ing an off­side call. First as­sis­tant ref­eree Salani Ncube right­fully did not flag an off­side, but Moyo blew to end the match when Kutinyu beat Bosso goal­keeper Ariel Sibanda.

Chicken Inn thought he was in­di­cat­ing a goal, but there was dead si­lence in the sta­dium when he did not point to the cen­tre cir­cle. As Ncube made his way onto the pitch to join other match of­fi­cials, Bosso play­ers sur­rounded him protest­ing that he should have flagged Kutinyu for off­side.

At the same time, Chicken Inn play­ers mobbed the ref­eree protest­ing the man­ner in which he had ended the match.

Pan­de­mo­nium then broke out, as mis­siles were thrown onto the pitch, while of­fi­cials and play­ers from both teams were in­volved in some push­ing and shov­ing.

Chicken Inn gaffer Rah­man Gumbo was fum­ing, as he felt his charges were robbed of max­i­mum points by the ref­eree.

“If a match of­fi­cial can de­cide the re­sult like this, then it be­comes ques­tion­able. To be hon­est, I think the ref­eree did High­landers a huge favour; a fourth de­feat on the trot would have been em­bar­rass­ing for them, but they must do their own work and not wait to be as­sisted,” said Gumbo in a post match in­ter­view.

As ex­pected of a derby, the match kicked off with both sides teas­ing each other with no real goal­mouth ac­tion un­til the 19th minute when High­landers em­barked on a nice ex­change of passes, with drib­bling wiz­ard King Nadolo heav­ily in­volved from the start only to be yel­low carded for sim­u­la­tion in­side the box un­der the chal­lenge of Lawrence Mh­langa.

In the 26th minute, Passmore Bernard’s shot for Chicken Inn from the arc was de­flected for a cor­ner, which was wasted.

The Game­cocks kept press­ing in search of an opener and it duly came in the 33rd minute through the head of Mh­langa, who rose above the rest to meet a Ge­orge Ma­jika cross.

He earned him­self a yel­low card when he jumped over the perime­ter fence cel­e­brat­ing his goal.

High­landers be­gan the sec­ond half the bet­ter side and their re­silience paid off when Si­mon Mu­nawa brought them back on level terms.

A seem­ingly harm­less cross from the left by Hon­est Moyo eluded a clus­ter of Chicken Inn de­fend­ers, with Devine Lunga the last to miss and Mu­nawa ghosted in from the blind side to hit the roof of the net.

The goal awak­ened Bosso and Al­lan Ga­hadzikwa broke loose on the right side, sent in a cross that Nadolo dum­mied for Mu­nawa, who clev­erly laid the ball to Rah­man Kut­sanzira. Kut­sanzira was a shade too slow, but still man­aged to send in a curler that ag­o­nis­ingly went over the bar.

“I think our per­for­mance was okay but the fail­ure to score is what wor­ries me,” said Bosso coach Erol Ak­bay.

Gumbo felt the match was evenly bal­anced, although the re­sult should have been dif­fer­ent. @skhu­moyo2000 CHIEF ref­er­ees’ in­struc­tor Glad­more Muzambi says a ref­eree can end a match re­gard­less of where the ball is.

His re­marks yes­ter­day came fol­low­ing skir­mishes be­tween High­landers and Chicken Inn play­ers and of­fi­cials af­ter ref­eree Nkosikhona Moyo blew to end the match, just as High­landers’ goal­keeper Aerial Sibanda was be­ing beaten. Chicken Inn thought they had won the match 2-1 right at the death.

“I was not at the sta­dium, but if that is what hap­pened, then tech­ni­cally the ref­eree was right. If it’s time up, it’s time up, it doesn’t mat­ter where the ball is at that time. The only time when play can be al­lowed to continue is for the pur­poses of tak­ing a penalty, but again even then, when the goal­keeper punches the ball back into play, the match ends, there is no re­bound,” said Muzambi.

He said many peo­ple tend to put emo­tions into such de­ci­sions.

“The act is usu­ally not so palat­able, but that is the law. If it’s time up, it’s time up,” he said.

Chicken Inn play­ers march in protest af­ter ref­eree Nkosikhona Moyo blew to end the match as Tafadzwa Kutinyu scored what could have been the win­ning goal against High­landers at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium yes­ter­day

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