Triangle ……… (0)2
Harare City ……..0
Triangle United produced a memorable second half display which saw them despatching defending champions Harare City to lift their maiden Chibuku Super Cup title in front of a home crowd, in a pulsating final at Gibbo Stadium yesterday.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI IN TRIANGLE
There were wild scenes of celebration in the Lowveld after the final whistle as the Sugar Boys won the berth to represent the country in the prestigious CAF Confederation Cup next year.
The Taurayi Mangwiro-coached side first struck through veteran striker Ralph Kawondera in the 58th minute before Phineas Bhamusi’s sucker punch in the 89th minute.
Mangwiro praised his lads after a memorable win.
“It was a good win for us, we played well in the second half. We started the first half slow, but my players remained focused and we came into the second half with the right mentality,” he said.
“We scored our goals at the right moment and when they were attacking us in the last few minutes, Bhamusi killed the match. l think Bhamusi played the match of his life and we are looking forward to representing the country in Africa.”
The victory rekindled the memories of 2013 when the Sugar Boys won their first major football title in Zimbabwe after beating Dynamos on penalties in the final of the One Wallet Cup in Harare.
Mangwiro becomes the first coach to win the Chibuku Super Cup twice since its return in 2014.
A former Dynamos player, Mangwiro guided Harare City to the title in 2015.
His counterpart Mark Harrison said his side had a great season.
“It was a good match, but unfortunately we lost. We had a great season, but tough luck to my boys,” he said.
Harare City were relegated from the top-flight league last season, but got a lifeline when How mine pulled out due to financial constraints.
They grabbed the opportunity with both hands and have done well in the league, sitting in eighth place on the log standings with 46 points, six behind fourth-placed Triangle.
The Sugar Boys started the match with clear purpose.
Pint-sized Lameck Nhamo — one of the best players in the league this season — watched in disbelief as his shot missed the target by a few inches early in the first half.
Harare City midfielder Tatenda Tumba showed some flashes of brilliance in the middle of the park.
Kawondera whipped a fine cross in the 26th minute, but found no takers as the hosts started dictating the pace.
The visitors almost took the lead 10 minutes before the break through Pritchard Mpembele, but his stinging shot was saved by Ronald Mudimu.
The home side started the second half strongly when Mangwiro substituted Pasca Manhanga for the youthful Anelka Chiwandire, who changed the complexion of the match.
Chiwandire had to overcome an ankle injury to play the match.
In-form veteran forward Russell Madamombe whipped in a good cross in the 59th minute, which was headed home by Kawondera much to the delight of the home faithful.
The Sunshine City Boys piled pressure in search of an equaliser, as Takudzwa Chimwemwe’s close-range shot was saved by veteran keeper Ronald Mudimu in the 78th minute.
Former Harare City winger Bhamusi then killed the match as a contest when he struck the second goal of the day in the 89th minute.