|Mzingwane crowned champs|
|Monday, 30 July 2012 00:00|
INNOCENT Chifamba’s first-half strike was enough to help Mzingwane High from Matabeleland South edge Pamushana of Masvingo in a closely contested Boys Under-16 Copa Coca-Cola soccer final at Chinotimba Stadium in Victoria Falls yesterday.
Chifamba fired home a long range ball that beat Pamushana’s goalkeeper Sean Arimose. Mzingwane had earlier on beaten Hwange Government High 1-0 in the semi-finals while Pamushana dismissed Marange 3-0 in the other last four encounter.
Pamushana, the pre-tournament favourites, played well, dominating most of the game but it was Chifamba who destroyed their dream of reclaiming the title they first won in 2007.
For their efforts Mzingwane walked away with US$6 500 while Pamushana got US$5 500.
Hwange and Marange finished third and fourth respectively, each pocketing US$3 500 and US$2 500.
The rest of the teams each received US$1 200 each for participating. Mzingwane coach Bekezela Mavundla was a happy many after yesterday’s victory and paid tribute to his team for a good performance.
“They played very well, it’s been a tough road going there from the district level to this level and even to the boys they gave it all. I am very grateful to the boys. This is new era, Mzingwane is coming to dominate Zimbabwe football. As for next year we will be coming to defend our title,” said Mavundla.
Mavundla also won the best coach award and walked away with US$200. Pamushana coach Bernard Matenga commended his players for a good show despite losing the match.
“We played well but we failed to score. In football it’s all about luck and it was just unfortunate we lost. “They (Mzingwane) got their chance and they utilised it,” said Matenga.
In the Girls category, Vainona from Harare retained their title when they dismissed Chidyamakono from Masvingo 2-0. They got their goal from their captain Greater Bande in the 40th minute from a cross. Diana Sabau weighed in with the second goal from inside the box in the 54th minute.
Vainona coach Langton Kagwere said he was satisfied with his charges performance. “Normally the first half is not a problem to us because if we manage to go into half time without conceding, we know that in the second half we can come back.
“These people were using long range balls so they were using much energy and we knew they were going to get tired. When our players came back in the second half they were able to showcase their skills.
“This is our Under-17 from the first team. It’s just good and I am quite happy we were able to win with the Under-20 last year and now we have won it with the Under-17,” said Kagwere. Vainona coach Prosper Manzungu scooped the best coach’s prize in the Girls section.
Despite Chidyamakono losing in the final, their coach Takavadiyi Rangarirai reckoned that the debutants had done eough just to clear all but one hurdle on their first attempt.
“We are really satisfied, it was unfortunate that our key player, Clarice Dhimuri had an injury. This is our first time to compete so it’s a great achievement and we hope that next time we will do well because we learnt quite a lot. It was a fair game,” said Rangarirai.
Vainona pocketed US$3 000 while Chidyamakono got US$2 500. Glen View 1 and Matinunura were third and fourth and they got US$2 000 and US$1 500 respectively. The rest of the teams got US$1 000 each. Delta beverages general manager Southern Region Cynthia Malaba said the Copa Coca-Cola tournament has proved to be a success for junior development.
“Coca-Cola, Delta Beverages and Mutare Bottling have enjoyed a long standing relationship with NASH, through our sponsorship of soccer in schools for the past 23 years. This sponsorship was mooted with the aim of developing sports at grassroots level.
“Indeed, we have achieved this with the emergence of Zimbabwean soccer heroes who have been hatched from this initiative,” said Malaba.
Guest of honour and acting provincial education director, Matabeleland North Mathias Luphahla urged the young players to be disciplined to reach greater heights. “To the youngsters I take this opportunity to warn you not to exit the sport prematurely. Keep away from alcohol, drugs and other forms of vice. You need to be disciplined on and off the pitch. Self-discipline is the greatest virtue you can exercise if you are to develop as a player,” said Luphahla.
Boys: Munashe Ndlovui (Mosi-a-Tunya), Paul Makotore (Mzingwane), Gerald Ziki (Pamushana), Shelton Mukete (Pamushana), Nqobile Moyo and Mkhokheli Nhliziyo (Mzingwane), Tapiwa Tshuma (Hwange), Brian Chemhuru (Rimuka 2), Albert Magumise (Manunure), Bukhosi Ncube (Mosi-a-Tunya), Nyasha Chikazenge (Pamushana), Eric Gote (Centenary), Emmanuel Mukoni (Marange), Innocent Chifaamba (Mzingwane), Glynn Tandi (Mzingwane), Ishmael Mushaka (Mosi-a-Tunya), Shawn Pumulo (Hwange) Gailord Tarisai (Pamushana), Taboka Ncube (Mzingwane), Liberty Chihombori (Rimuka 2).
Girls: Bridget Shamu (Glen View 1), Pennetritious Ncube (Mosi-a-Tunya), Chipo Chikoora (Matinunura), Nomuthandazo Ncube, (Mosi-a-Tunya), Prudence Zurumba (Chidyamakono), Gladys Sango (Mutondwe), Rutendo Magora (Glen View 1), Mercy Marowa (Vainona), Rumbidzai Chapfira (Vainona), Grace Ndlovu (Selonga), Bhekhitemba Malalazi (Sobvubu).