Manica Diamonds roast Chicken Inn

The victory was a sigh of relief for the  Gem Boys coach Jairos Tapera whose future at the club was hanging in the balance.

MANICA DIAMONDS . . . . . . . . . . . (1)

CHICKEN INN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)

MANICA Diamonds collected their first set of full points when they beat Chicken Inn FC in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Sakubva stadium yesterday

The victory was a sigh of relief for the  Gem Boys coach Jairos Tapera whose future at the club was hanging in the balance.

Manica Diamonds, a pale shadow of the team that finished second in the league last year, gave their restless fans something to cheer about with victory at long last.

Second-half substitute, Micheal Tapera, scored in the 72nd minute to torch wild celebrations from the few Manica Diamonds supporters who had come to watch the match.

In the first-half, Manica Diamonds pressed for an opening goal with striker Tawanda Macheke being the chief culprit as he missed glorious chances to score in the 16th and 37th minutes.

While Chicken Inn controlled the midfield in the first-half, with former Warriors midfielder, Danny Phiri, leading the exchanges alongside Michael Charamba and Innocent Mucheneka, the home team's defence remained resolute.

In the second-half, the Gem Boys came back rejuvenated as substitutes Tapera and Kudzai Dhemere changed the complexion of the game with more meaningful attacks.

Manica Diamonds dumped the passing game and relied on long balls upfront. The tactic paid off, as it created more scoring opportunities and Tapera did justice by effectively utilising the long balls from the defence.

Manica Diamonds assistant coach Tafadzwa Mashiri was delighted after  the win.

“We are very happy with this win. It has been a very difficult start for the season for us. We started on a very low note as compared to last season,” he said.

“I want to applaud the players for the splendid work they did. They knew what was at stake and they worked hard so hard to give us the full set of points.”

Chicken Inn coach, Joey Antipas, was disappointed with the match officials and said the league was now “comic” after a poor showing by match officials.

“This is disappointing. It was poor officiating from kick-off, we were in trouble. They were just blowing against us,” he said.

“The goal they scored went out, but it was waved play on. The PSL is becoming comic because of poor officiating,” Antipas said.

Manica Diamonds had gone for four games without a win. The team collected only a point from a possible 12.

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