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Chicken Inn storm to 2015 premiership championship


We deserve it, we fought all the way ... Chicken Inn captian Danny Phiri

21/11/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
Championship winning coach ... Joey Antipas
 
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Chicken Inn 3-1 Harare City
FC Platinum 1-1 Caps United

CHICKEN INN were crowned the Zimbabwe Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions on Saturday after they emphatically thumped Harare City at Luveve Stadium, breaking Dynamos’ four-year stranglehold on the league title.

Needing just three points from their game and FC Platinum to either draw or lose against Caps United at Mandava on the same day, everything fell into place for Joey Antipas’ men as they took City to the cleaners with three clinical finishes.

Platinum drew 1-1 against Caps while Dynamos dispatched Chapungu 2-0, a case of too little, too late. And with that a ticket to the Caf Champions League in 2016 for the Gamecocks!

At the same time, Chicken Inn’s win ensured, once again, that the league title remains the domain of Bulawayo and Harare teams only.

Goals from George Majika and Tafadzwa Kutinyu and a nicely worked third from regular scorer Mitchell Katsvairo late in the second half, ensured victory for the Gamecocks in a match that had a sizeable crowd including Highlanders fans who came to back their city rivals.

Club secretary Tawengwa Hara, who had said they were not yet ready for Africa in 2013, saw his dreams of playing in Africa coming true and is hopeful that his principals will find no problem in funding the rough and rugged terrains of African football next season.

“We had a vision, and that vision has come to fruition.

“We are hopeful that we will be able to participate in Africa next year and leave a mark for Zimbabwean football,” Hara said Saturday.

Club chairman Lifa Ncube, who is based in Harare, says the league title and Africa is a dream come true for them.

“Everybody wants to play in Africa, and I am so happy that the technical team, the players and the executive have seen this vision through. We are a big club, and big clubs play in Africa with other giants.

“I want to say congratulations to everybody at Chicken Inn, including the fans for their support throughout the season and I am just at a loss for words to say today,” Ncube, whose team is powered by Innscor Africa which recently listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange under the brand name Simbisa, said.

Team skipper Danny ‘Deco’ Phiri, who is also the captain of the locally based Warriors contingent for the African Nations Championships (Chan) 20167, says they deserved to lift the league title.



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“We are the champions, we deserved it, we fought all the way and I am so excited by this.

“I want to thank my teammates, the executive and our sponsors for their support, but especially our coach (Antipas), who kept giving us encouragement even when we were failing to win some of our matches,” Phiri said.

Meanwhile, should Tsholotsho survive relegation this season, then Bulawayo will have five teams next year-Highlanders, Chicken Inn, Bulawayo City, Tsholotsho and How Mine.

The Midlands will have FC Platinum, Chapungu and newly promoted Border Strikers.

Triangle and, if they survive, Buffaloes and Mutare City Rovers, if they are promoted from the Eastern Region will represent Manicaland.

Hwange will represent Matabeleland North while Harare will remain with three-Dynamos, Caps United and Harare City.


 
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