BY GODKNOWS MATARUSE
Ngezi Platinum Stars……..……0
(FC Platinum won 5-3 after penalty shoot)
FC PLATINUM powered to their second Chibuku Super Cup title after beating Ngezi Platinum Stars on penalties in a tightly contested yet entertaining final here yesterday.
The two teams lived to their billing as the current best teams in the local league with some exciting football that needed a penalty shootout to decide the winner after the match had ended goalless after extra time.
FC Platinum converted all their spot kicks through Innocent Mucheneka, Ralph Kawondera, Nomore Chinyerere, Brian Banda and Gift Mbweti.
For Ngezi Platinum, Marvelous Mukamba was the fall guy after his penalty was saved by an alert Petros Mhari while Qadr Amini, Keith Murera and Denver Mukamba were on target.
Pure Platinum Play coach Norman Mapeza was elated with yesterday’s performance to get their hands back on the trophy they last won in 2014.
The Zvishavane-based mines have dominated domestic football in the last five years but the Chibuku Super Cup had eluded them.
“We won it before and to me it’s a massive achievement for the club. This is our third final, Harare City won it twice on four attempts and it’s massive for us. Overall, it was a good game, everyone wanted to win it,” Mapeza said.
Yesterday’s victory was a perfect revenge for Mapeza’s side as well as they lost to Ngezi Platinum in the final in 2016 at Baobab Stadium.
Interestingly, for Mapeza he has become only the second coach to win this trophy twice after Taurai Mangwiro, who won it with Harare City and Triangle United.
Agonisingly for Ngezi Platinum Stars it was their second consecutive loss in the final having lost 1-0 to Highlanders in the 2019 final albeit under controversial circumstances courtesy of a Prince Dube solitary strike.
But in yesterday’s game, there was no controversy as both clubs tried to outwit each other.
While FC Platinum started the strong side, it was Ngezi, who had the first real chance at goal when Anelka Chivandire saw his effort crashing against the upright with Mhari nowhere near.
FC Platinum, however, continued to probe Ngezi’s rear guard with Mucheneka and Panashe Mutimbanyoka forcing goalkeeper Nelson Chadya to produce some impressive saves to keep the scores goalless.
With FC Platinum enjoying an upper hand, Dhlakama responded by a double substitution bringing in Denver Mukamba and MacDonald Makuwe.
The two turned the game in Ngezi’s favour as they went on to dominate and create some good chances.
Mukamba immediately become a menace to FC Platinum defence with some beautiful touches while Makuwe twice came close and even saw one of his attempts denied by the upright.
However, hard both teams tried, there was no goals in regulation time and extra time leading to the penalty shootout.
It was the home side that kept their cool from 12 yards out while Mukumba will be remembered as the unlucky Ngezi player to miss.
Madamburo coach Rodwell Dhlakama was left dejected by the defeat.
“When you get into penalties, it’s anyone’s game; it’s a lottery,” a dejected Dhlakama said after the match.
“We played very well, first half, second half and extra time; we did very well, we controlled the game but at the end of the day, we lost through penalties.
“Difficult to digest, maybe we take the good performance of the guys going forward but it’s now water under the bridge.”
FC Platinum: Petros Mhari, Rahman Kutsanzira, Gift Bello, Kelvin Mangiza, Brian Banda, Blessing Moyo (Rodwell Chinyengetere 85m), Innocent Mucheneka, Donald Dzvinyai, Panashe Mutimbanyoka (Ralph Kawondera 105m), Donald Teguru (Nomore Chinyerere 105m), Thandowenkosi Ngwenya (Gift Mbweti 85m)
Ngezi Platinum Stars: Nelson Chadya, Kudzai Chigwida, Devon Chafa (Arter Kaseke 87m), Keith Murera, Marvelous Mukumba, Polite Moyo, Bruno Mtigo, (Wayne Makuva 113m), Anelka Chivandire (MacDonald Makuwe 46m), Nyasha Chintuli (Walter Vuwa 87m), Qadr Amini, Valentine Kadonzvo (Denver Mukamba 46m) – Daily News