Sikhumbuzo Moyo in BULAWAYO
BARBOURFIELDS turned into a theatre of mayhem yesterday amid chaotic scenes which exploded at the end of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League derby between Highlanders and Chicken Inn.
Referee Nkosikhona Moyo somehow blew to end the match just as the Gamecocks scored what would, and probably should 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 converted his chance.
As Kutinyu fired home, beating keeper Ariel Sibanda, Moyo blew to end the match.
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. Bosso players surrounded the assistant referee 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 left 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.
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 assimilation inside the box under the challenge of Lawrence Mhlanga.
In the 26th minute, Passmore Bernard’s shot for Chicken Inn from the arch was deflected for a corner, which was wasted.
The Gamecocks kept pressing in search of an opener and it duly came n 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 Allen 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.
Kustanzira though had an average game by his standards.
“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 end result should have been different.
Highlanders: Ariel Sibanda, Rahman Kutsanzira (Gabriel Nyoni, 85thmin), King Nadolo, Simon Munawa, Tendai Ndlovu, Peter Muduhwa, Honest Moyo, Erick Mudzingwa, Allan Gahadzikwa (Brian Banda 80th min), Tendai Ngulube, Ralph Matema (Adrian Silla, 73rd min)
Unused subs: Julius Daudi, Danmore Chakwana, Felix Chindungwe, Njabulo Nyoni
Chicken Inn: Elvis Chipezeze Lawrence Mhlanga, Devine Lunga, Thabani Goredema, Chris Samakweri (Moses Demera, 77th min), Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Moses Jackson Passmore Bernard, Darlyn Nyandoro (Ozias Zibande, 53rd min), Obadiah Tarumbwa, George Majika (Pride Tafirenyika, 62nd min)
Dynamos 1, Bulawayo City 1
Highlanders 1, Chicken Inn 1
Hwange 0, CAPS United 0
FC Platinum 1, Mutare City 1
Ngezi Platinum 0, How Mine 2
Harare City 2, Border Striker 0
Chapungu United 0, ZPC Kariba 1
P W D L F A Pts
FC Platinum 19 11 6 2 21 9 39
CAPS United 19 10 7 2 22 10 37
Highlanders 19 9 5 5 24 14 32
Triangle 19 8 6 5 16 15 30
ZPC Kariba 19 7 7 5 15 13 28
Dynamos 19 7 7 5 14 12 28
How Mine 19 6 9 4 18 14 27
Harare City 19 7 6 6 20 15 26
Ngezi Platinum 19 7 5 7 18 19 26
Bulawayo City 19 6 7 6 14 15 25
Chicken Inn 19 6 6 7 18 14 24
Hwange 19 6 6 7 12 18 24
Chapungu 19 5 8 6 15 16 23
Mutare City 19 4 5 10 15 29 17
Tsholotsho 19 3 4 12 13 22 13
Border Strikers 19 3 1 15 6 25 10