By Muziwethu Hadebe
@Luveve Stadium, Bulawayo
Chicken Inn 0-2 Manica Diamonds (Benjamin Marere 1’, Ishmael Lawe 90+1)
Red card Obriel Chirinda 40’
CHICKEN INN coach Joey Antipas stormed out of the press conference room in frustration before the press conference had ended following his team’s third defeat at home this season to a Manica Diamonds team that stretched its unbeaten run to five matches.
“We deserved to lose, we were poor, I would say we were just bad as from kick off as we conceded a goal in the first minute of the match and it was a poor and slow reaction on our defence, overall we were poor, so you will go around asking questions and we need answers, you come into a match with a poor attitude, you get f…… up and we were f…….. Up today, sorry gentleman”, said Antipas before walking off the press room before the media asked him further questions.
Manica Diamonds took the lead in the first minute when Benjamin Marere was allowed space into the box and delivered a cross for Stanley Ngala who stretched his long legs but did not touch the ball allowing Marere’s intended cross to roll into the nets.
Most in the stadium thought it was Ngala’s goal but Mysports/Chicken Inn TV visuals showed Ngala not touching the ball and the match officials also confirmed that they had credited the goal to Marere.
With the break five minutes away Chicken Inn striker Obriel Chirinda was red carded for throwing the ball at Manica Diamonds left back Peace Makaha. Makaha had delayed picking the ball for a throw in and Chirinda rushed to pick it and threw it at Makaha, who made a meal of it and threw himself to the ground as if to say Chirinda had hit him with the ball and the U23 internstional was red carded after the referee consulted his assistant who was near the two.
Chicken Inn started the second half strongly after the introduction of George Majika and Nicole Mutatiwa for Malvin Gaki and Simon Munawa but found Manica Diamonds defence of goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube, right back Lawrence Masibera, left back Peace Makaha and the central defence pairing of Partson Jaure and captain Carlton Munzwabwa strong.
As the Game cocks tried to get an equaliser Manica caught them on the break in stoppage time as a Liberty Chakoroma error allowed Marere to win possession and bring in a cross for Ishmael Lawe whose rising effort settled into the top corner as the former Chicken Inn man grabbed his second of the season.
Johanisi Nhumwa,Manica Diamonds coach was happy with the win. “We had a plan and to beat the big teams like Chicken Inn, Triangle and Harare City is good for us and it shows we are improving, our strength today was to close in on our central defence in midfield and not allow them any wing play”, he said.
Chicken Inn Pride Zendera, Moses Jackson(Ben Nyahunzvi), Xolani Ndlovu(Yellow), Guide Goddard, Liberty Chakoroma, Tichaona Chipunza, Simon Munawa(George Majika) Sipho Ndlovu, Malvin Gaki(Yellow)(Nicole Mutatiwa), Valentine Kandonzvo, Obriel Chirinda(Red).
Manica Diamonds Tafadzwa Dube, Lawrence Masibera, Peace Makaha(yellow), Partson Jaure, Carlton Munzwbwa, Jeffrey Takunda, Last Jesi(Ishmael Lawe), Rodrick Mufudza(Nelson Tachi)Yellow, Kudakwashe Gurure(yellow)(Timire Mamvura), Benjamin Marere and Stanley Ngala.