Ngezi win Chibuku Cup

MHONDORO - In the end water was more precious than any expensive champagne in the world as Ngezi Platinum Stars players splashed it on their coach Tonderai Ndiraya soon after the final whistle.

But it didn’t matter after Ngezi Platinum were crowned the Chibuku Super Cup winners in their first year in the top flight league with a convincing 3-1 win over FC Platinum yesterday.

The win was made sweeter as Ndiraya outclassed FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza, who is regarded by many as one of the best tacticians in the modern game in this country.

Liberty Chakoroma was the hero for the home side after scoring a brace while Kelvin Bulaji got the other one to cap a fine afternoon for Madamburo.

Gerald Takwara scored FC Platinum’s consolation for the Zvishavane-based side, who are now in danger of ending the season without any silverware after surrendering the lead at the top of the Castle Lager Premiership to CAPS United with only two games to go before the season ends.

It was the visitors, who settled first imposing their passing game, but with the pace of Donald Teguru and Bulaji upfront, Ngezi were always going to be dangerous on the break.

And it was from a break that the home side took the lead after only 10 minutes when Chakoroma pounced on a loose ball to beat FC Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari with a powerful shot from the edge of the box to send the home fans into delirium.

After a quick turn over, Teguru drove at the FC Platinum defence beating two markers in the process and when Ian Nekati tried to clear, the ball fell kindly into Chakoroma’s path. 

With the visitors still trying to settle after the early setback, Madamburo got their second in the 26th minute when Bulaji reacted fast to finish off a loose ball after Mhari had fumbled a Walter Mukanga powerful shot.

Teguru, who kept the visitors’ defence on the back foot each time he was in possession, almost put the game beyond doubt but he skied his effort from close range after he had got to the end of a Bulaji cross.

With the home side threatening to run away with the match, FC Platinum seemed to have found a way back when Takwara struck a powerful shot from the edge of the box two minutes before the break.

Rodwell Chinyengetere created the goal after holding off a Ngezi defender inside the box before teeing up the former Tsholotsho midfielder, who connected perfectly to give Nelson Chadya no chance at his near post.

The second half saw FC Platinum playing with more purpose as their opponents sat back as they defended deep.

As he sought to find the equaliser, Mapeza introduced Wellington Kamudyariwa and Makai Kawashu for Nqobizitha Masuku and Brian Muzondiwa, but the changes did not trouble the composed home side’s Partson Jaure and Edgar Tapera.

FC Platinum’s hopes of a comeback were dashed four minutes before full time when Chakoroma completed his double with a well taken shot from outside the box which took a deflection off an FC Platinum defender.

It was Chakoroma’s fourth goal of the competition after having previously netted against Highlanders in the semi-final and Tsholotsho in the quarter-final.

Teguru almost got his name on the score sheet just before full time following a quick counter but he took too long to shoot allowing the visitors to clear their lines.

But Ngezi’s job was already done and it was all joy from the home team’s fans who had come in their numbers to rally behind their team.

For winning the country’s premier knockout competition, Madamburo received a $75 000 cheque and will represent the country in the African Confederation Cup next season.

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