Zvishavane implodes after Shabanie win Central Region

HARARE - It was a pensive affair for much of the 90 minutes last Saturday at Maglas Stadium in Zvishavane as hosts Shabanie Mine laboured to dismiss bitter rivals FC Platinum Under 19 in a closely-contested Central Region Soccer League match.

The stadium was packed to the rafters just like any other derby played between these two sides from the small mining Midlands town but for the home side the events on the ground were pensive in that they got in the match desperate for three points to wrap up the region’s championship.

As the Chinda Boys struggled to penetrate the FC Platinum defence, it would never had gotten so worse for them after one of their players was sent off early in the second half but as fate would favour them, Shabanie got the all-important goal in the 83rd minute through Lloyd Gwerina which later on turned to be just enough to give them the title.

Wild celebrations erupted inside the stadium, a breath of fresh air had been blown among the Shabanie Mine faithful giving a renewed vigour, and new sense of belief while a few bunch of platinum supporters pondered at what had hit them after holding on for so long.

With that victory, Shabanie became the second team after Black Rhinos to win the regional first division league for the 2016 season.

“It was difficult coaching a team without a single cent but determination saw us through for we knew the team would collapse the following year if we didn’t win the championship this year,” Shabanie Mine coach Tendai Chikuni formerly of FC Platinum said soon after his team’s victory.

“I want to thank the supporters for taking money meant for their families to aide the team’s campaign upon realisation of how bad we struggled.

“The players showed a great determination to win despite the challenges we face and I would like to thank them all for that. The players made a lot of sacrifices, at times we could go into matches on a pfuko maheu stomach for the whole day.”

Jubilant scenes were evident in most parts of Shabanie Mine stronghold including Maglas, Kandodo and Nil township while the low density areas such as Birthday, Hillview, Noelvale, Advarolem and Chinda heights all were full of joyous celebrations.

Even the Mandava location mainly a platinum area but also housing a good number of Shabanie Mine supporters was restless with jubilant scenes as well as Highlands, Makwasha and Lot 1 to 4 areas.

For FC Platinum supporters it was double mourning in that many had been bussed to Mhondoro Ngezi to support their senior team that lost to Ngezi Platinum Stars 3-1 round about the same time their developmental team fell to Shabanie Mine at Maglas.

“Shabanie is a very big brand and the two seasons we have spent in Division 1 have ensured that we come back revitalised, reinvented and refocused so that we do not repeat past mistakes. We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximise the brand potential and make sure that we stay in the top flight league,” Munyaradzi Nyashanu, Shabanie Mine treasurer added.

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