23 October 2017

Zimbabwe: Harare City in Another Chibuku Final

Martin Vengesayi's solitary strike made the difference as Harare City laboured to their third Chibuku Super Cup final appearance after edging hosts Bulawayo City at Barbourfields yesterday.

Although it is said that in football there is never a bad, the Sunshine Boys failed to shine at Barbourfields and were far from convincing in the way they went about their business.

Harare City will now face How Mine in the final after the Bulawayo gold miners dispatched Shabanie Mine in the second semi-final at Barbourfields. The Harare Municipality men will be indebted to Vengesayi's 28th minute strike, which ironically came out of Harare City's best move of the afternoon.

In the four years that the Chibuku Super Cup has returned to the domestic football radar, Harare City now boast of the most of the most appearances in the final with the 2017 decider being their third.

They were losing finalists to FC Platinum in 2014 and won it the following year with victory over Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium. Vengesayi could have grabbed a brace seven minutes after his opener only his shot to be blocked by Bulawayo City's veteran defender Zephaniah Ngodzo.

Bulawayo City were missing key players Ishmael Wadi, Morris Kadzola and skipper Zibusiso Sibanda but they still came back strongly in the second half.

The hosts however, failed to convert their chances as the Sunshine Boys held on to the slender lead. Harare City coach Philani Ncube was excited by the result after his side had practically camped in Bulawayo the past week after they left earlier for a mid-week league match against Chicken Inn.

Despite losing that league match 2-1, they still managed to regroup and kept their dream alive in search of a second Chibuku Super Cup title following their 2015 success story.

"It's quite an achievement. We came here and failed to get points against Chicken Inn but we sat down with the boys and said we have to win this semi-final tie. I didn't want to be one of the coaches who failed to reach the finals of this tournament with the club. We are not going into this final to give the title on a silver-platter," said Ncube.

Bulawayo disappointed at home and their coach Mandla Mpofu still believes they were unlucky not to get a result.

"We are very disappointed as a team. This was a game of two halves. They dominated the first half and we made a mistake that we allowed them to score. But we came back strongly in the second half. We failed to score but we are not demoralised because looking at the way we played I think we created a lot of scoring opportunities. We showed a strong fighting spirit," said Mpofu.

For Bulawayo City, reaching the semi-finals this year was quite an improvement from their debut season last year when they fell at the first round stage. Mpofu also took pride in that along the way they managed to knock out one of the giants Dynamos before edging out newboys Yadah in the quarter-finals.

Bulawayo City will now channel all their energies towards their fight for survival in the league.

"That's the challenge we now have. We have to fight for survival and with the spirit we exhibited in this match I think it's possible," said Mpofu.

Bulawayo City will probably look back to some of the chances that they wasted in this match with midfielder Innocent Kutsanzira directing his effort wide on the hour mark.

About 10 minutes later Andrew Tandi came face to face with the Harare City goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi but nothing came out of it before Trevor Ndlovu was denied by the woodwork.

Still, Bulawayo City midfielder Ransom Pavari was a marvel to watch each time he was in possession and he tried his best to drive the team forward but the goal remained elusive.

The hosts caused continued to cause anxious moments for the visitors deep into the added time when they won a free-kick that was expertly taken by former Warriors defender Ngodzo.

Harare City managed to contain the pressure as Munditi was equal to the task and they will now relish an opportunity to return to continental football in the CAF Confederation Cup with How Mine the last hurdle to clear in that quest.

Teams:

Bulawayo City: Ndodana Sibanda, Andrew Tandi, Nyasha Mukumbi, Newman Sianchali, Owen Ndlovu (H. Masuku, 81st minute), Clive Rupiya (M. Moyo, 50th minute), Munya Mungadze, Trevor Ndlovu, Zephania Ngodzo, Rainsome Pavari, Innocent Kutsanzira (B. Ncube, 70th minute)

Harare City: Tatenda Munditi, Tendai Samanja, Jimmy Tigere, Martin Vengesayi, Pritchard Mpelele (P. Tshuma, 62nd minute), Raymond Uchena, Edwin Madhananga, William Manondo, Takudzwa Chimwemwe, Wilfred Muvirimi (T. Balakasi, 79th minute), Protasho Kabwe (L. Muyambo, 58th minute)

Bulawayo City. . . . . . 0

Harare City . . . .. . . . (1) 1

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