Tadious Manyepo-Sports Reporter
ZDF Select . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)1
BD Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
THE Zimbabwe Defence Forces Select football side capped the day’s festivities in style with this victory over their Botswana counterparts to land the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day trophy at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
Lloyd Katongomara scored the solitary goal from the penalty spot midway through the second half.
The match, held to cap the ZDF Day celebrations, was reduced to just 70 minutes to allow for other activities that wrapped-up the official proceedings.
The tie was high in entertainment value with fans enjoying every moment of it as they got a feel of international football, thanks to the sound bilateral relations between the ZDF and their Botswana counterparts.
The visitors should have surged ahead in the seventh minute of the encounter when they won a penalty which was taken by Confidence Senwelo.
However, Blessing Mwandimutsira, in goals for the home side, dived the right way and saved the spot-kick.
The match was expected to produce fireworks given the day did the same before a capacity crowd.
People from across the societal divide joined the Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Mnangagwa, in commemorating the day reserved for the country’s defence forces.
They were treated to some entertaining activities from military drills to traditional dances before they got to watch the beautiful game.
They sang and danced the day out as they enjoyed the match which befittingly produced fireworks.
That the visitors ended the match a man down following the expulsion of substitute Tsimako Onkgolotse for a professional foul with five minutes on the clock did not take any gloss out of the match.
The Zimbabweans, who were deployed in a 3-5-2 structure, started the match on the front foot with Takunda Jeffrey and Leroy Benard, especially impressive.
But once the guests contained them in the opening moments, the match became a see-saw affair with action swinging from one end to another.
The introduction of veteran Chapungu captain, Philip Marufu, into the fold in the second half seemed to have sparked life into the home side who started to take the match to their opponents.
As they pressed for a goal, buoyed by the raucous home support, the ZDF Select won a penalty as referee Brighton Chimene spotted a handball in the 18-yard box.
Katongomara stepped in and powered a low shot into the right bottom corner.
The ZDF Select coach, Nesbert “Yabo” Saruchera, hailed his charges.
“It’s always great to get a gold medal on a day we are celebrating ourselves. I would like to salute the fans for their support and the players for their spirit,” said Saruchera.
ZDF Select: Blessing Mwandimutsira, Jameson Mukombwe, Farai Banda, Douglas Mbewe, Collin Kwaramba, Jeffrey Takunda (Brighton Mugoni 60th min), Maxwell Mavhuto (Pride Mukombwe 49th min), Gracious Muleya, Kelvin Chiripawako (Philip Marufu 36th min), Lloyd Katongomara, Leroy Benard
BDF: Matlo Kagiso,Thabe Gaamangwe, Ranko Olebogeng, Modise Mogotsi, Seforo Onkabetse,Modingwane Godiraone, Molefe Tefo (Nonofo Chepete 48th min), Lerole Perontle, Thabo Metihayotlhe, Confidence Senwelo (Mbonisi Ncube 37th min), Thato Kananyo (Orative Taunyane 39th min)