Bantu Rovers . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
BANTU Rovers Under-16s became the inaugural winners of the Benjani Mwaruwari Junior Soccer Tournament when they beat
Highlanders in the final at White City Stadium yesterday.
Mthabisi Tshuma scored the goal that made the difference in the first half. He had a good tournament harassing defenders at will and scoring in almost every match.
Bantu Rovers showed tactical discipline, maintaining shape in both attack and defence and deservedly won the event which organisers said would be an annual tournament.
To get to the final Bantu Rovers topped Group A in which they were pooled with Ajax, Magwegwe Secondary School and Chicken.
The winners beat Chicken Inn 2-1 courtesy of goals by Tshuma and Bukhosi Sibanda while their opponents pulled one back through Ronald Phiri. They went on to hammer Emakhandeni 4-1 with their third match a 1-0 edging of Ajax.
Highlanders on the other end were held 1-1 by FMH academy before beating Agent Sawu’s Rising Stars Academy 4-0 and Emakhandeni 1-0 in Group B.
In the semi-finals Bantu Rovers were in no mean mood dismissing Emakhandeni 4-1 while Highlanders beat Ajax 2-1.
Winners of the tournament will travel on an all expenses paid trip to Harare to watch the sponsor’s testimonial match on Saturday. They will also be given track suits donated by Mwaruwari.
The finalists were presented with uniforms which the sponsor said he would be happy if they are given to individual players after the tournament.
Seven other players were identified after impressing Ali Dube and Simba Rusike who were the panel of judges for individual prizes. These will accompany Bantu Rovers to Harare for the testimonial match.
These are Godknows Moyo, Innocent Kacheche (Magwegwe Secondary School), Thembalethu Mthunzi (Emakhandeni), Dezel Khumalo (Ajax), Brendon Mwenzi (Highlanders), Motion Barwe (FMH Academy)
Bantu Rovers’ Bukhosi Sibanda came up for mention for a good tournament’s performance and was the top goalscorer.
Moyo of Magwegwe Secondary School was the event’s best goalkeeper.
Speaking at the end of the tournament Mwaruwari said he would make the tournament an annual event.
“I am impressed with what I saw. I would like to make this an annual event, this has been part of my testimonial activities with a dinner to follow in Harare on Friday on the eve of the match.
“This is part of the Benjani Mwaruwari Foundation which will be launched in Harare on Friday and will be followed by the match on Saturday,” said Mwaruwari.
He praised the organising committee led by Sihlangu Dlodlo for a well run event.
The match brought curtains down to the two-day event which attracted fair crowds. Among the spectators were Benjani Mwaruwari and his family, former Warriors players Dazzy Kapenya, Ronald Sibanda, Ephrain Chawanda, Godfrey Paradza, Harlington Shereni, Zenzo Moyo, for senior national team manager Ernest Sibanda,
Highlanders chairman Peter Dube and Ozzie Sibanda who lives in the UK and turned out for Hwange and Masvingo United.
Mwaruwari’s former coaches in the national teams Gibson Homela and Barry Daka were there too. This has been a good idea for the boy to give back to the community. I hope many other players can emulate his feat and contribute to the development of the game in the country,” said Daka.