Harare lifts hockey title

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Matabeleland A. . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 0
Harare A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. (2) 2

TWO first half goals from Kudzanai Tambo and Stuart Murinda sealed a 2-0 win for Harare A in the men’s inter-provincial hockey final against Matabeleland A played at Kumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday.

Vitalis Moyo
Sports Reporter

Matabeleland A came into the game as defending champions and favourites playing in front of the home crowd, but they were stunned in the second minute when Harare A went into the lead through a Tambo goal which came from open play.

Harare A showed good composure and beautiful displays passing the ball around accurately and dominating much of play in the first half. They continued piling pressure on the Matabeleland backline and were rewarded with another goal when Murinda dribbled past the defenders to fire the ball past the Matabeleland goalie, for Harare’s second goal.

After those two early goals Matabeleland made efforts to get themselves back in the game, but they kept losing the ball going forward and through poor passing, as they could not complete their passes.

In the second stanza, Matabeleland came out a more determined side going on the offensive early, but most of their efforts failed to find the back of the net.

Thamsanqa Moyo and Tapiwa Mushoyakarara led Matabeleland’s attack with the side being awarded a number of penalty corners, which they failed to utilise. Moyo came close to scoring after beautiful dribbling skills, but his shot failed to go past the Harare defence.

Harare kept it tight for their opponents hanging on to possession for the better part of the half showing good movement on and off the ball. Late efforts from Matabeleland to get back into the game were in vain as they failed to find the target as Harare hung on to their lead until the final whistle.

Earlier on, Matabeleland A had beaten Masvingo B 5-3 in the first semi-final match while Masingo A lost out in a penalty shoot–out to Harare A after the two sides were deadlocked at 2-2 after normal time of play in the second semi final.

Harare advanced to the finals after winning the match 3-1 on penalties. Matabeleland Hockey Board secretary Kalpesh Parshotam told Southern Eye Sport that he was pleased with how the tournament was organised.

“The tournament was good and it was good to have Harare sides coming to participate in the games as they have one team in the national league,” he said. “Everything went well as there were no red cards that were given throughout the tournament.

“The down side is that there was no women’s competition as none of the women’s teams from other provinces came down for the tournament.
“We are looking forward to the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe Cup that is coming in September which will also be hosted at Kumalo Hockey Stadium.”

The eight teams that participated in the competition were Masvingo A and B sides, Harare A and B, the Zimbabwe Men’s Under-19, Matabeleland A and B sides, as well as an invitational side.