Ngezi Platinum Stars lift the Castle Challenge Cup

Ngezi Stars lift the Castle Challenge Cup at Baobab Stadium in Ngezi yesterday. Picture: Hilary Maradzika

Ngezi Platinum Stars (1)2

Dynamos (0)0

League champions Ngezi Platinum Stars made a huge statement ahead of the start of the championship race by beating Chibuku Cup winners Dynamos in the season opening Castle Challenge Cup at Baobab Stadium yesterday.

Claude Mapoka and Elson Mweha scored a goal in each half to help Ngezi Platinum Stars bag their first silverware of the season.

And for Dynamos the match appears to have come a bit too early as the defensive lapses cost them the match in which they otherwise controlled and dominated in terms of possession.

Against the run of play Makopa capitalised on a rare slip at the back by experienced defender Frank Makarati, robbing him before lifting the ball over the exposed Prince Tafiremutsa in goals for Dynamos five minutes before the break.

Mweha, who came on as a second half substitute, beat the Dynamos offside trap in the 70th minute to cooly slot it past Tafiremutsa and end the match as a contest.

It was sweet revenge for the platinum miners who lost to DeMbare by a similar scoreline at the same venue in the Chibuku Super Cup last season.

Ngezi Platinum Stars can now go into the new season with confidence after winning the Castle Challenge Cup.

Coach Takesure Chiragwi was pleased to add another trophy in the club's cabinet.

"We are happy and it's the dream of every coach and every club. When you play a Cup game you really need to win so that you add a lot of silverware in the cabinet and today we have done it as Ngezi Platinum Stars," he said after the match.

"We are pleased and happy with the players. The new players fit in very well and we are happy about that. That is exactly what we want to see," Chiragwi added

Chiragwi said the win gives them confidence ahead of the start of the new season.

"Obviously when you win that's how you build the confidence. It's important for the team and the players to get into the season with a win. It gives them confidence to keep on winning. We are the reigning champions and it's good for the champions to keep on winning," he said.

Dynamos dominated the early exchanges but failed to fashion any meaningful opportunities.

It was infact Ngezi Platinum who almost took the lead after Mapoka's free header in the box went straight into Tafiremutsa's arms.

Dynamos forwards Keith Madera, Ali Sadiki and Elton Chikona took turns to miss chances.

And Dembare were duly punished in the 40th minutes as Mapoka gave Ngezi Platinum the lead.

Ngezi Platinum had a glorious opportunity to double their lead with a quarter of the match remaining when substitute Tinotenda Murasiranwa completely missed a cutback from Mweha with the keeper to beat.

Elson Mweha made it two moments later beating the offside trap to coolly slot the ball home over an advancing Tafiremutsa to put the final nail on the coffin.

Dynamos had a chance later on when Emmanuel Jalai scuffed his effort just wide from in the six yard box.

 Dynamos coach Genesis Mangombe bemoaned the mistakes at the back.

"The boys are doing very well according to the way we want to play. And now we want to work on those grey areas especially silly mistakes at this level, we are trying to address that.

"When you play possessional football and then make mistakes at the end of the day you won't win the match because everyone will be off balance and will not be able to defend the counterattack. But I  am pleased with the way we tried to play from the back even when we were trailing we tried to build from the back.

Related Topics