THE rains heavily pounded Mandava for two days and the muddy field was not conducive for play as players from both FC Platinum and Harare City struggled throughout the Chibuku Super Cup final in the wet weather on Sunday.
Harare City thought they had nicked the silverware and pocketed the $75 000 prize money with a Talent Chawapiwa thunderbolt after he was set up by Francisco Zekumbawire to beat FC Platinum goalkeeper and captain Petros Mhari in the 37th minute.
Inside four minutes of optional time, a controversial foul awarded to FC Platinum by referee Norman Matemera resulted in FC Platinum equalising through Walter Musona in a goalmouth scramble after a Thabani Kamusoko shot at goal.
That goal also sparked outrage as Harare City allege the ball had not crossed the line, but Matemera’s decision was final and as a result, the Sunshine Boys’ coach Masimba Dinyero refused to receive his medal after they lost 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out.
But it was all joy for Mhari after he saved two penalties by Harare City as he eyes his second appearance in the Orange Caf Confederation Cup.
“I am happy and I am looking forward to the Confederation Cup,” he said.
“I played in that tournament with Hwange and it is another journey to Africa for me with FC Platinum. We have a team of young players and they will have to grow and develop in that competition. I am still growing in football too and this is a good opportunity.”
Hwange took part in the Confederation Cup in 2012.
Coach Norman Mapeza, who says he puts his destiny in God’s hands, said he was building a youthful team for next year that includes Raphael Muduviwa, twins Kevin and Elvis Moyo, Musona and Wisdom Mutasa.
It was morale-sapping defeat for Harare City who are not safe from relegation from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) with coach Masimba Dinyero lambasting referee Matemera and saying that’s why Zimbabwe had no referees being selected for international assignments.
City are home to Chicken Inn in their last league match as the relegation battles continue in the last round of the PSL games.
“We have time to recover after this defeat,” Dinyero said.