The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Chitiyo Wanted to Shelve the Trophy

MONOMOTAPA influential forward Ronald "Rooney" Chitiyo, who had an outstanding season, was left a disappointed man after losing to Dynamos in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final at Rufaro at the weekend.

To their credit Monomotapa, who crashed out at the first huddle last season, have had a good journey in the Mbada Diamonds Cup having worked their way into this year's finals before losing to Dynamos with Rodreck Mutuma scoring both goals.

Skilful midfielder, Chitiyo, has been one of the outstanding players in this campaign, beginning with a man-of-the-match performance against Hardbody. Chitiyo scored a hattrick to earn his side a 3-2 win at Dalibadzimu in the first round.

Monomotapa secured their place in the last four when they overturned a two-goal deficit against Highlanders to win 3-2 courtesy of goals from Osborne Mukuradare, Russell Madamombe and Hillary Mugoniwa.

Monoz powered their way into the finals after beating FC Platinum 1-0 at Sakubva and many were tipping them for the Mbada Cup but DeMbare proved too powerful for Biggie Zuze's men.

On Saturday, Dynamos' Tawanda Muparati marked Chitiyo out of the game and without their talisman pulling the strings, Monoz never enjoyed their usual passing game.

Chitiyo feels Monoz have had a fair outing this season and they should have capped it with at least one piece of silverware.

"We have been playing well but unfortunately we couldn't win and it's very disappointing," said Chitiyo.

"I think we were just unlucky and after all the potential we showed we ended the season empty-handed.

"We never played our usual game, maybe it was stage fright but we have played DeMbare before and beat them. I got injured in the first half and I never recovered. Muparati did a good job but at times he was too hard on me which contributed to my injury. It's always bad when you lose. We put everything into the game but we just couldn't win it at the end of the day and it's congratulations to Dynamos, at least we lost to a better side.

"The truth is we cannot take anything away from Dynamos in terms of their competitiveness and their fans who have rallied behind them throughout the season. They are one of the big clubs with experienced players."

Despite losing the Mbada Diamonds Cup, Chitiyo is looking forward to a better season next year with Monomotapa and is confident of winning Soccer Star of the Year award ahead of Denver Mukamba and Highlanders' Masimba Mambare.

"I am staying with Monomotapa and I hope we will have a better season next year. I think I played well the whole season and I am confident of winning the Soccer Star of the Year award," Chitiyo said.

Monoz are guaranteed a place in the Confederation Cup as Dynamos will be playing in the Champions League. The win ensured Dynamos completed a rare back-to-back League and Cup double.

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