Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
ZDF Select . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2) 3
Highlanders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Black Rhinos defensive midfielder Martin Mine scored a brace as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Select retained the Defence Forces Cup after thrashing Highlanders at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Last year the ZDF Select team won 2-0 against CAPS United. But yesterday the Forces team underscored what they can produce as a combined side when the team, which featured players from Premiership sides Black Rhinos and Chapungu exhibited some good football and were full value for their victory.
The Select team under the guidance of Black Rhinos gaffer Stanford “Stix” Mtizwa assisted by Chapungu mentor Tendai Chikuni proved too strong for Errol Akbay and his troops.
The Minister of Defence Sydney Sekeramayi and his wife Tsitsi presented the winners with a trophy and a prize money of $9 000 while Highlanders for their effort also received $7 000.
Some of the important guests who watched the match, which produced a good contest dominated by the defence forces, were the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga, Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant General Phillip Valerio Sibanda.
But it was Rhino’s Mine who stole the show with his brace. Mine first headed home in the 21st minute before completing his brace five minutes after resumption when his cracking shot off a ball which had took a bounce in front of him beat Highlanders goalkeeper Prosper Mathuthu.
Mine’s goals sandwiched burly Chapungu forward Allan Tavarwisa 30th minute strike. The Black Rhinos midfielder who has only contributed one goal in the league so far against Tsholotsho was elated to score at such a grand occasion.
Ageless Chapungu forward Phillip Marufu who always shines in this tournament was again in fine form and combined well with his teammate and exciting midfielder Ian Nyoni. Marufu was unlucky not to find the target on the afternoon.
“I am very excited to score two goals against Highlanders, this is definitely good for my career. We had good training for the past four days and learnt a lot from our two coaches Mutizwa and Chikuni.
“I also thank the bosses for the good reception and a nice camping we had. We have been going through a bad spell as a club but with the results we got today, I am sure that we will go back to winning ways in the local league considering that I came from Black Rhinos and managed to score today (yesterday),” Mine said.
Mtizwa, who is yet to win a match since the mid-season break, was also happy to preside over a victorious team. The army side lost to Bantu Rovers 1-0 in their last game. Before that they had suffered a similar defeat at the hands of Dynamos.
“We are happy with this victory because we managed to put together two teams to be one team and played very well beating Highlanders, you know Highlanders is a very good team.
“This team we assembled in four days and came up with this win. I am so happy. They played very well, according to instructions and produced a good result.
“The talent is there in the Force and these games help us identify players. Players are motivated playing in front of huge crowds and when they go back to their clubs they would be confident enough.
“This is a blessing in disguise (for me). The whole scenario, we are staying at Rainbow Towers and the environment also motivated the players, it was a change we needed as we go back to the league.
“We have money in the pockets and the win have motivated us as we approach our next league game,” said Mtizwa.
Highlanders’ coach Akbay said his players played badly and deserved to lose the match.
“We cannot talk about tough luck. We played bad football from the midfield and conceded two soft goals. “Everybody will have to fight again in our next game we cannot allow the mistakes which happened today, we were too slow,” Akbay said.
The Dutch coach, who has indicated that he will not renew his contract in December was disappointed that he missed once again a chance to win some silverware with the club.
“We didn’t fight enough and failed to win silverware again but we have to win in our next match,’’ Akbay said.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Select: R. Mazingi, C. Mativenga, F. Banda (B. Chandisaita 77th minute), B. Mbavaira, B. Homora, C. Kwaramba, M. Mine, P. Marufu, I. Nyoni (M. Mavhuto 76th minute), A. Tavarwisa (V. Mhandu 67th minute), L. Chiwunga,
Highlanders: P. Mathuthu, H. Moyo (N. Ndlovu 86th minute), T. Ndlovu, T. Ngulube, B. Phiri, P. Muduhwa, B. Banda, E. Mudzingwa, G. Makaruse (B. Ncube 38th minute), Mudhuwa, R. Kutsanzira.