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Hefty rewards for Shabanie

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SHABANIE Mine players will be rewarded handsomely for winning the BancABC Sup8r Cup after beating Zvishavane town rivals FC Platinum 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after an exciting 120 minutes played at Mandava Stadium on Saturday.

FORTUNE MBELE
SPORTS REPORTER

A senior player yesterday told Southern Eye Sport that the club’s executive had agreed the crisis-ridden club would be sharing the Sup8r $120 000 pay cheque with the players and the technical team 50/50.

“The executive guaranteed that we would be getting 50% if we won the trophy.

As players we are hoping that they will honour their promise. We played our hearts out yesterday (on Saturday) and I think we deserved to win although we had some disagreements before the match,” the player said.

A source revealed that on Friday the Shabanie players briefly broke camp following the club’s non-committal attitude to guarantee the players 50% of he money if they clinched the trophy.

The source said the players had also protested against camping at Asbestos House instead of an up-market lodge in Zvishavane ahead of the derby final.

Shabanie chairman Nephel Rugara could not ne reached for comment yesterday.

Wild celebrations engulfed Mandava Stadium after skipper Tafadzwa Mombeshora converted the former asbestos miners’ fifth spot-kick with fans invading the pitch in jubilation after Platinum’s Obrey Chirwa had missed the fourth penalty for the platinum miners.

Blessed Mbavaira, Valentine Ndaba, William Ngonya, goalkeeper Victor Twaliki and Mombeshora converted for Shabanie. Platinum scored through skipper Daniel Veremu, Winston Mhango and Thabani Kamusoko.

The exhilarating 120 minutes of the match had remained goalless, but Shabanie could have won it in the first half as Tarisai Rukanda, Pervington Zimunya and Caleb Masocha tormented the FC Platinum defence, keeping goalkeeper Francis Tizayi busy.

Platinum came into the second half a rejuvenated side and an overlapping Veremu saw his header inside the box bounce and fly over the cross bar in the 66th minute. Chirwa, who missed the spot-kick for FC Platinum, came in for an effective Charles Sibanda in the 62nd minute and injected life into the game with his runs, but turned villain in the penalty shoot-out.

Shabanie supporters, unhappy with referee Norman Matemera’s decision to hand FC Platinum a free-kick after Smart Muchabaiwa had brought down substitute Marshal Mudehwe in the 68th minute, became a bit mischievous and started throwing missiles onto the pitch.

The tempo of the game continued to rise as the weather turned nasty towards the dying moments.

It would later rain at night.

Platinum were more on the offensive in the second half and Shabanie defender Ngonya almost buried the ball behind his own goalkeeper Twaliki in an attempt to make a clearance under pressure in the 73rd minute, but the goalminder was alert.

Platinum’s Donald Ngoma’s header also missed the target in the 77th minute from a Raphael Muduviwa cross.

Another chance for Shabanie went begging eight minutes before the final whistle as Phiri skied his effort from inside the box.

A tense 30 minutes extra time did not produce any goals with the fresh legs of Mitchelle Katsvairo for Platinum, Fungai Chirinda and Ndaba for Shabanie doing the running.

A last-minute gasp attempt for Shabanie was thwarted when Twaliki saved a Nelson Maziwisa effort from inside the box towards the end of the game before Matemera blew for the penalty shoot-out.

Mombeshora who won the man-of-the-match award and a $500 reward had this to say after the match: “We played better than FC Platinum. We followed instructions and played as a team and the 12th man also had a part to play.”

His coach Luke Masomere was over the moon saying Shabanie Mine had its own in-house problems, but the victory was for the people of Zvishavane while Platinum’s Mutasa said his boys lost the plot in regulation time.

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