HARARE CITY……. (1) 4
ZPC KARIBA………. (1) 1
HARARE City striker Francesco “Cecil” Zekumbawire netted a brace as his side came from a goal down to beat ZPC Kariba at Mandava Stadium yesterday to qualify for the Chibuku Super Cup final.
BY HENRY MHARA
Thomas Sweswe gave ZPC Kariba a third minute lead with a header which was cancelled out by a fine effort from Zekumbawire in the 26th minute.
An own goal by halftime substitute George Magariro gifted City with the lead in the 67th minute, before Zekumbawire made sure of a win four minutes later with a thunderous shot.
Substitute Agripa Murimba put a gloss on the deserved win for the Harare side with an easy tap in the 91st minute.
City will now meet either Dynamos or Chapungu — who meet this afternoon — in the finals tentatively, set for the end of this month.
Harare City assistant coach Mkhuphali Masuku said his side was inspired to win this year’s competition after they were controversially denied the title last year.
ZPC Kariba coach Sunday Chidzambwa said he was disappointed with his defence for letting in what he termed soft goals and is now focusing on fighting relegation in the league front.
His team got the best possible start to the game when Sweswe capitalised on goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu’s mistake to head home from close range.
Although Zekumbawire was troubling ZPC Kariba, his efforts were not being complemented, with William Manondo throwing wide a good assist from the big striker in the 20th minute.
His efforts were duly rewarded, however, when he beat two markers before firing home with a firm low shot.
Suddenly, City were lively, with Kuda Kumwala’s cut back well collected by Kariba goalie Tendai Hove.
Only some astute and desperate defending from ZPC Kariba defenders kept the scores at 1-1 going into the halftime break.
City kept asking questions at the start of the second half and deservedly took the lead in fortunate circumstances when Magariro beat his own goalkeeper as he attempted to clear Kumwala’s cross.
Kumwala then provided another assist when he chested down a long ball from the back, before setting up Zekumbawire who obliged by blasting home a thunderous shot.
ZPC Kariba had three chances to at least reduce the deficit, but wasted all — first from an indirect free kick inside the box after another Nyamupangedengu mistake, and then Tawanda Nyamandwe failing to put to good use two glorious chances that came his way.
As the time ticked away, Kumwala galloped forward again on the right channel, before crossing the ball to an unmarked Murimba who pushed the ball into the nets, to complete an emphatic win for his side.