BY HENRY MHARA IN mhondoro-NGEZI
Harare City……………… (1) 1
Ngezi Platinum………….. (1) 1
(Ngezi won 7-6 after a penalty shootout)
GOALKEEPER Nelson Chadya was the hero for Ngezi Platinum Stars as he saved a spot kick in a sudden death penalty shootout to guide his side into the final of the Chibuku Super Cup at the expense of Harare City.
The match had ended 1-1 with William Manondo scoring for Harare City on 28th minute, a goal which was cancelled out by Qadr Amini seven minutes later.
No further goals were scored in a match where both teams created good chances. It came down to the penalty shootout lottery and a chance for the two goalkeepers Chadya and City’s Maxwell Nyamupangedengu to emerge as heroes for their teams.
It was the two keepers’ heroics in the previous round that had put their sides through to this stage when they both saved penalties for their respective teams. On this occasion, it was Chadya who excelled once again, diving low to block Tatenda Tumba’s spot kick.
Stars will play the final with either Highlanders or ZPC Kariba, who face off in another semi-final today.
Winning coach Rodwell Dhlakama (pictured) was pleased with the team’s performance, particularly Chadya.
“Chadya is a national team goalkeeper and for the national Under-23 side, so he showed his pedigree again and we expect him to do that,” said Dhlakama.
“Cup games are always difficult to play; they are games of small margins. If you fail to capitalise on the chances you create you end up getting into penalties, which are nerve wrecking.
“You have to win in regulation time and if you can’t, then you have to be prepared for the penalties.
“We have done that and won before [on penalties], so we didn’t have a problem going into the shootout.”
Dhlakama replaced Erol Akbay last month on an interim basis for the rest of the season. Winning the Chibuku Super Cup could help him get the job permanently.
“The community of Ngezi is amazing,” Dhlakama said.
“I’m from this place, my mother was born here and I went to Mhondoro-Ngezi School. “So, for my uncles and the community of Ngezi, I have to win this trophy for them.”
City coach Lloyd Chitembwe felt his side was unlucky.
“Im very disappointed to lose, but I thought the guys had given their all,” Chitembwe said.
“The performance was very good; it was more of what we had expected. We did control both halves and it was down to nerves so obviously the boy [Tumba] didn’t have a strong nerve, which is expected because he is young, and I will forgive him.
“We will work to fight another day, and now need to change focus to the league games, but I’m very happy with the run we had in the Chibuku competition and we need to do precisely the same in the league games.”
Manondo had given City a lead with a header from a Moses Muchenje cross after Takudzwa Chimwemwe had been fouled.
Mr Chibuku, as Manondo is nicknamed for his prolific form in this competition, connected a cross towards goal to give Chadya no chance.
The goalkeeper should have done better to cut the cross.
Stars’ response to the setback was quick. After Donald Teguru had hit the cross bar, Amini was more precise with his shooting as he arrowed his shot through the legs of Nyamupangendengu.
Harare City: M Nyamupangedengu, H Chapusha (M Machazane, 42’), M DiroNyenye, R Uchena, T Chimwemwe, M Muchenje, W Mukanga, W Manondo, I Wadi, M Vengesai, K Musharu (T Tumba, 91’).
Ngezi Platinum Stars: N Chadya, N Katala (K Bulaji, 90’), A Makopa, P Moyo, T Mabvura (B Mushunje), F Mukarati, D Teguru, M Mlilo (J Ngulube, 72’), Q Amini, K Murera, G Takwara.