DEFENDING champions Dewure High School crashed out of the Copa Coca-Cola Under-16 boys tournament after a penalty shootout loss to Chinhoyi High School in the semi-finals at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda yesterday.
BY HENRY MHARA IN GWANDA
The Masvingo Province team, bidding to become the third team to successfully defend the title since the Hippo Valley High squad of 1990 and Chemhanza High in 2013, were beaten 4-3 on penalties after the game had ended goalless.
Chinhoyi High will meet last year’s losing finalists Rujeko High in today’s finals who beat Chemhanza 1-0 in the other semi-finals. This match was a repeat of last year’s semifinals.
If Chinhoyi goes on to win, it will be the first time the trophy will be heading for Mashonaland West while a win for Rujeko would see Mashonaland Central winning for the second time in the 28th history of the tournament.
Dewure eventually settled for a third place after beating Chemhanza 1-0 in the third and fourth play-offs.
The big disappointment of the tournament though should be four-time champions Churchill High of Harare who arrived at the tournament as one of the favourites, but failed to go beyond the group stages following defeats to hosts Gwanda and Chemhanza.
Pamushana High School of Masvingo, the 2007 champions, also performed below expectations, crashing out of the tournament at the group stage after they were held to a goalless draw by Guinea Fowl before losing to Rujeko 1-0.
2012 winners Mzingwane only went as far as the quarterfinals, losing 2-1 to Chemhanza.
While the balance of power has shifted from Masvingo Province after the Dewure loss, the province is likely to continue its dominance in the women’s category of the competition after three-time winner Chidyamakono easily qualified for the finals where they are seeking a record fourth successive title.
The Chivi-based school beat Chipadze 2-0 in the semi-finals and will play Magwegwe of Bulawayo who won 1-0 against Vimbai High School.