RANK outsiders ZB Life tore the form book apart when they claimed the Financial Services Soccer League Paynet Cup following a penalty shoot-out victory over Old Mutual in the final at Standard Chartered Sports Club at the weekend. The two insurance teams had — surprise finalists — fought out a goalless draw in regulation time before ZB Life prevailed 4-1 in the lottery.
With 2017 league champions FBC having tumbled out at the group stage, and Paynet Cup holders Stanchart also having fallen by the wayside after losing 1-0 to Old Mutual, in the quarter-finals, the platform had been set for some surprise packages to steal the show. ZB Life also knocked out fancied CBZ, who were the 2016 runners-up, with a 1-0 triumph in the quarter-finals and then needed to ride their luck in the penalty lottery again in the semi-finals in which they accounted for impressive debutants IPEC 5-4.
In the final ZB Life won the day after Trevor Zidoro, Victor Matare, Saul Masaraure and Tawanda Guma converted their kicks from the penalty spot. Matare also claimed the tournament’s Best Player award while the Old Mutual pair of Stephen Reuben and Privilege Chiteme won the Top Scorer and Best goalkeeper accolades respectively. With tournament sponsors Payserv having been impressed with the manner in which chairman Kudzai Kwangwari and his executive committee organised the games, the 2018 edition looks to be even bigger with a fully-fledged women tourney being mooted.
Payserv boss Sibert Dube told those who graced the final weekend of the tourney at Stanchart Sports Club that his company is also happy to play a part in the health and wellness programmes in the financial services sector.
“It is an honour for me to congratulate all the teams who participated in this year’s Paynet Financial Services Soccer League Cup tournament. It is our hope that you enjoyed the games and gained a lot from participation whether you ended up trophy takers or not.
“Having fought your way to the finals and won, the winning team ZB Life Assurance certainly deserve a big well done. Payserv is proud to have been part of the tournament again this year as the sponsors of this Paynet Financial Services Soccer League Cup. For those who don’t know Payserv, it is the holding company for Paynet, Autoplay, Microserv and Softserv. We are proud again to be part of this year’s tournament in support of Health and Wellness for improved employee productivity. As Payserv we believe a healthy workforce is a motivated team and a motivated team is a productive and efficient workforce that is why together with the organisers we made this tournament bigger and better than previous years,’’ Dube said.
Dube also lauded the partnership between Payserv and the Financial Services sector and urged women from those institutions to establish their teams. Local women football giants Mufakose Queens and Cyclone Stars played in an exhibition encounter aimed at inspiring women from the FSS to take up football and they did not disappoint either in a contest which Mufakose won 1-0.
“Paynet is in partnership with all financial institutions in Zimbabwe to provide efficient payment solutions to both corporate and individual customers. We play a very significant role in support of the national payment systems in transmitting in excess of $5 billion worth of transactions on the Paynet platform every month. A special recognition goes to Women’s Soccer League executive members and to Mufakose Queens and Cyclone Stars for a spectacular match . . . I hope women in the Financial Services Sector have been inspired,’’ Dube said.