Ngezi's Ndiraya over the moon

MHONDORO - Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya felt his team’s triumph in the Chibuku Super Cup final over FC Platinum here yesterday was “an extraordinary feat” for a side in their first year in the top flight league.

Madamburo, who were promoted at the start of this year, defied odds to post a convincing 3-1 victory over their more illustrious opponents.

Skipper and man-of-the-match Liberty Chakoroma scored a brace while Kelvin Bulaji got the other goal while FC Platinum scored their consolation through midfielder Gerald Takwara.

Prior to the final, very few had given Ngezi any chance considering they were playing against a well-drilled FC Platinum side which is still fighting for the Castle Lager Premiership title.

“Winning the game with a two-goal margin; I think it’s extraordinary from a team of our magnitude,” Ndiraya said after the match.

“But I think we deserved it. I thought we defended very well. We never gave them much room and we restricted them to shoot from a distance.

“We scored from fast breaks and counter attacks which I thought we executed very well.”

By winning the Chibuku Super Cup, Ngezi Platinum now also have the right to represent Zimbabwe in the African Confederation Cup next year.

Ndiraya hopes their parent company Zimplats will avail the funds for the team to take part in the competition which requires a huge budget due to the high cost of travelling across the continent.  

“I’m happy for the boys and the community. I hope the bosses will allow us to play in Africa,” said the former Dynamos coach.

“I want to thank the fans, they supported us from the onset. When I came here, they believed in me after realising some positives.

“Even when the results were not coming our way, they stood by us. This is for them and I hope they will enjoy the African Safari if the bosses allow us.”

Ndiraya was in charge of Dynamos when the Glamour Boys lost last year’s final of the same competition to Harare City at the National Sports Stadium.

“This is my second final as a coach, so am quite elated and I wanted it badly. I think it’s a great achievement,” he said.

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was disappointed with the outcome and now hopes his side can claw their way back into the Castle Lager Premiership lead. 

“We were never in the game, they appeared tired.  They converted their chances. We now need to focus on the league and win our remaining two matches and see where we can finish the season at,” Mapeza said.

With two games to go before the season ends, FC Platinum find themselves trailing log leaders CAPS United by two points.

Mapeza’s side will face Highlanders at home and Tsholotsho away in their remaining matches while CAPS face Ngezi and Chapungu.   

After yesterday’s crushing defeat, it is going to be a tough task for Mapeza to psyche up his players for those remaining matches.

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