Ngezi Platinum storm into semi-finals
Tadious Manyepo-Sports Reporter
Herentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Ngezi Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
(Ngezi Platinum Stars win 5-4 on penalties)
NGEZI Platinum Stars reserve goalkeeper Chang Marioni made a triumphant debut after two years of waiting as he helped the miners progress to the Chibuku Super Cup semi-finals following this penalty shootout victory at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
With their Number One goalie Nelson Chadya on national duty, the Mhondoro team turned to the burly shot stopper and he didn’t disappoint in a match the Takesure Chiragwi charges were outplayed by their hosts.
The former Triangle keeper was one of the main reasons the match finished goalless in regulation time as the Students relentlessly bombarded their guests throughout the 90 minutes.
But he responded with fine saves including two point-blank ones in quick succession in the second half. And he also carried the team over the line when thwarting Ali Maliselo’s effort in the penalty shoot-outs.
Ngezi Platinum converted all their five kicks through Kudzai Chigwida, Malvin Gaki, Nigel Makumbe, Takunda Benhura and Valentine Kadonzvo while Chota, Clemence Gobvu, Majarira and Kapumha found the target for Herentals.
“I was waiting for my chance all along and I am happy to have finally made my debut in a special way,” said Marioni.
“Herentals is our bogey side. They are fighters and they have dominated us in recent years.
“Our coach Takesure Chiragwi told us that we need to fight if we are to win against Herentals.
“We carried that mentality into the match and the work ethic on the part of everyone carried us through.
“I am very happy we managed to progress to the last four”.
It was sweet revenge for Ngezi Platinum Stars who were eliminated at the same stage by Herentals last season.
Yet it was Herentals who bossed both the ball and territory and should have easily won this tie.
Blessing Majarira, Prince Chama, who had to be ferried to hospital hospital after sustaining an injury 25 minutes into the game, William Kapumha and Peter Chota all came close to scoring in the opening half.
Although Ngezi Platinum absorbed much of the pressure for the better part of the first stanza, Herentals were relentless and they should have scored 15 minutes before time with Marioni denying Majarira and Tafadzwa Jim from point blank range.
With Tino Benza and Davison Maruwa, who were just on time to make the team after playing for the Warriors against Botswana on Saturday thrust into action, Herentals threw everything in attack but Marioni was in top form.
Nevermind Antonio (Takudzwa Chikosi 90min), Chistian Nyatondo, Blessing Majarira, Kudakwashe Chitavire, Innocent Benza (Davison Marowa 46min), Tafadzwa Jim (Tino Benza 60min), Ashwald Phiri, Peter Chota, William Kapumha, Peter Chota, Prince Chama(Ali Maliselo 26min), Stanely Murove
Ngezi Platinum Stars
Marioni Chang, Kudzai Chigwida, Polite Moyo, Ellson Mweha, Takunda Benhura, Gareth Madhake, Marvellous Mukumba, Malvin Kwinjo(Valentine Kadonzvo 60min), Bruno Mtigo(Malvin Gaki 60min), Tapiwa Mandinyenya, Delic Murimba(McDonald Makuwe 60min)