Rah­man’s gam­ble pays off

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

Lawe out­paced his marker to beat ad­vanc­ing Mutare City goal­keeper Philip Nhete with a grounder.

Zibande played as a lone striker, but Matawu and Tafadzwa Kutinyu took turns to part­ner him up­front after the cham­pi­ons went ahead.

The in­ter­change of po­si­tions by the Chicken Inn mid­field­ers made it dif­fi­cult for the vis­i­tors to track Matawu, Kutinyu and Pride Tafirenyika, while an­chor­man Tha­bani Gore­dema made sure the cen­tral de­fence stood its ground.

Mutare City only had two half chances through­out the game. The first came in the 38th minute when Caleb Masocha turned in the box and took a snap shot that went straight to goal­keeper Elvis Chipezeze.

The vis­i­tors’ skip­per Chas­ten Ngon­do­nga then sent his 76th minute header into the side net­ting.

After the match, Chicken Inn coach Rah­man Gumbo, who ini­tially used a 4-5-1 for­ma­tion be­fore switch­ing to his favoured 3-5-2 after go­ing into the lead, said the vic­tory was a re­lief for his charges.

“Hon­estly this vic­tory is a re­lief after two con­sec­u­tive losses (0-1 to Caps United in the league and 0-1 against Tri­an­gle United in the first round of the Chibuku Su­per Cup). To­day the changes we made, leav­ing out all the mis­fir­ing strik­ers, paid off. You could see that the play­ers’ at­ti­tude was pos­i­tive,” said Gumbo.

Fol­low­ing yes­ter­day’s win, the cham­pi­ons moved a place up the lad­der from po­si­tion seven to sixth with 34 points from 24 matches.

Gumbo said he would not tinker with the team that beat Mutare City for their week­end game against Tri­an­gle United.

Mutare City coach Taku Shariwa said the com­pact White City pitch had an ef­fect on their play and his play­ers strug­gled to adapt to the turf as they over­ran the ball on many oc­ca­sions.

“We didn’t im­pose our­selves the way we wanted and the pitch size also didn’t work in our favour. How­ever, that is not an ex­cuse be­cause after Tsholot­sho’s loss to Dy­namos, we wanted to open a four-point gap from them, but that wasn’t the is­sue,” said Shariwa.

Mutare City Rovers are third from bot­tom on 21 points. Cas­tle Lager PSL Week 24 Re­sults Wed­nes­day: Ngezi Plat­inum Stars 2-0 Cha­pungu, ZPC Kariba 0-0 Caps United, Bor­der Strik­ers 0-0 FC Plat­inum, Bu­l­awayo City 1-2 Tri­an­gle United, Dy­namos 2-0 Tsholot­sho FC

Yes­ter­day: Chicken Inn 2-0 Mutare City Rovers, Harare City 0-1 High­landers, How Mine 2-0 Hwange. — @ZililoR.

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