Games without fans intense—Antipas Joey Antipas

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
CHICKEN Inn FC head coach Joey Antipas has described the Chibuku Super Cup games being played without fans as intense.

The experienced gaffer saw his side springing into top spot in Group B following their 2-0 win against Bulawayo City at Barbourfields Stadium last Saturday.

Goals in either half by winger George Majika and forward Obriel Chirinda powered the Gamecocks to a perfect return to competitive football since 2019.

They sit at the top of the four-team mini-league by virtue of a superior goal difference over Highlanders, who opened their title defence with a 1-0 win over Bulawayo Chiefs at the same venue.

Chicken Inn face Highlanders this weekend in what Antipas terms an “explosive encounter” and hopes to extend their dominance over their Bulawayo rivals.

“Obviously, playing Highlanders should be a thriller and this will be an explosive encounter. If you make a clear analysis of the games based on videos from other centres, you can see that the only thing missing are crowds, but the games are intense and all teams want results,” said Antipas.

He was forced to pull out Majika against City after the player picked up a slight knock.

Midfielder Marlvin Gaki, who also finished the game with a slight limp, returned to training alongside Majika yesterday.

The duo, according to Antipas, had a light session, as the club’s technical team and medical team continue to assess their recovery.

“The knocks appear to be minor, but we’re not leaving anything to chance. We’ll see how they progress as the week goes on, but I’m positive that they should be cleared for full training in a day or two,” Antipas said.

He was impressed by his charges’ performances against City, but feels they still have a long way to get to match fitness.

“What we want is to enjoy our game while trying to get match fitness. We continue doing loads of work to get ourselves ready.

“To be honest, I was quite impressed by the way we played against City. Technically and tactically the players responded well in the first half, but we played in bits in the second half, something that clearly shows lack of match fitness. The guys were failing to take responsibility, trying to push that to the next person. I hope we will address that heading into our next game against Highlanders,” said Antipas. — @ZililoR

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