Ndiraya praises Ngezi players

HARARE - Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya hailed his team’s feat of reaching the Chibuku Super Cup final as a great achievement.

The platinum miners beat giants Highlanders 1-0 at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday to book a final date with FC Platinum, who defeated Harare City 3-0 in the other semi-final at Mandava Stadium on Saturday.

Defender Liberty Chakoroma was the unlikely hero when he converted a second half penalty that sent Bosso packing out of the country’s most prestigious knockout tournament.

With Highlanders sitting on a six-game unbeaten run in the league and the match set for Barbourfields, Ngezi went into the last-four clash as underdogs.

“Not many gave us a chance against Highlanders but we believed it and when we stepped onto the pitch we realised it was possible,” Ndiraya told the Daily News.

“From a fighter’s point of view; it was amazing what the side did. These boys have shown a lot of character and credit should go to them. For a team coming from Division One playing in the country’s biggest tournament for the first time, I think it’s a great achievement.

“Since I came here in June, every one of them (the players), the whole team over this entire stretch of time, has kind of grown together and we have given each other so much support. It’s really fun to watch this team grow.

“We are very happy and glad with the help from our management. They are very supportive and I think this is the best way to reward them. Just being in the final for us I think it’s a huge achievement regardless of what will happen in the final.”

Ngezi showed their intent from the first round when they dispatched Hwange 3-1 before trouncing Tsholotsho 4-1 in the quarter-finals.

Looking forward to the final, Ndiraya is optimistic his side can cause another upset. 

“It’s going to be an epic one and a very tight contest,” Ndiraya said. “They are playing well and are in the title race. But we will do everything that we can in the final. One thing for sure is that it will not be easy for FC Platinum. We will definitely give them a good run for their money.”

Ndiraya said the prospect of playing in Africa was a source of inspiration for his boys from the start.

“We sat down with the boys from the start telling them how opportunities will come. I am glad they listened to the call and it’s one game from achieving the big one,” he said.

“Playing in Africa has been our major motivation. Of course the decision to participate lies with the management but it is a great feeling. Our immediate task for now is to beat FC Platinum.”

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