Rhinos charge to second

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
Chicken Inn 0-1 Black Rhinos

BLACK Rhinos made a giant leap on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League table moving from eighth to second after punishing former champions Chicken Inn at Luveve Stadium yesterday.

The army side produced a disciplined performance and made 10 men Chicken Inn pay dearly for underrating them.

Rhinos got the important goal to secure maximum points 10 minutes into the second half through an overhead strike by Cliff Chitsamba following a good build-up.

Chitsamba reacted quickly to a Benjamin Marere chest-controlled ball off a Milton Kureva cross from the left and beat Chicken Inn goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze.

While Rhinos coach Stanford Stix Mtizwa was happy with his team’s performance, his Chicken Inn counterpart Rahman Gumbo was livid at his charges for their subdued show.

“My boys simply didn’t come to the party. There was a lot of complacency as they underrated Rhinos probably thinking they were going to have an easy walk in the park. We played well at Triangle United (where Chicken Inn won 1-0), but today they really disappointed me. I also didn’t like the indiscipline showed by my boys whereby they lost their cool and became restless after Rhinos had settled,” said Gumbo.

Both sides failed to produce any goalmouth action in the first half, knocking the ball around as they tried to penetrate each other.

The major highlight in the first stanza was a straight red card shown to Chicken Inn defensive midfielder Innocent Mucheneka for a double-footed lunge on Lot Chiwunga on the stroke of half time.

Rhinos used their numerical advantage well and showed their intent from the resumption of the second half. In the 50th minute, overlapping right-back Jameson Mukombwe delivered a perfect cross into the box which an unmarked Chiwunga, however, failed to direct on target.

The visitors then resorted to stretching Chicken Inn by spreading the ball to the wings before crossing into the box, a tactical move that paid off in the 55th minute when Chitsamba scored.

Chicken Inn tried hard to draw level, but each time they breached the Rhinos’ defence they found goalkeeper Herbert Rusawo resolute.

Rusawo produced the save of the match in the 66th minute to deny Obidiah Tarumbwa in a one-on-one situation when he punched the striker’s attempted dink over the bar for a corner.

Mukombwe then held his head in disbelief in the 89th minute after his speculative effort cannoned off the crossbar with Chipezeze beaten.

Mtizwa said: “Our game plan was to close Chicken Inn’s wings, which I believe we did very well and the numerical advantage worked in our favour. I’m happy with the three points on the road and hope to build from this victory.”

PSL Match Day Four Results

Wednesday: Harare City 0-0 Bulawayo City, Ngezi Platinum 2-2 Caps United, ZPC Kariba 2-1 Shabanie Mine, Tsholotsho FC 1-2 Highlanders, FC Platinum 0-0 Triangle United, Chapungu 1-1 Yadah FC, Bantu Rovers 2-3 Hwange

Yesterday: Chicken Inn 0-1 Black Rhinos, Dynamos 0-1 How Mine.

— @ZililoR

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