Highlanders . . . . . . 0
Harare City . . . . (1) 3


MASIMBA Dinyero celebrated his first major cup final yesterday after Harare City swept aside a troubled Highlanders side in the second semi-final match of the Chibuku Super Cup at Rufaro Stadium.

Francesco Zekumbawire scored a fabulous goal and provided an assist for Martin Vengesayi’s third goal after substitute William Manondo had scored the second to set City on a collision course with FC Platinum in the final next month.

It was Highlanders’ fourth straight defeat having been pummelled 4-0 by rivals Caps United a week ago. The defeat to Harare City was also the second this season having been beaten 1-0 in the league two weeks ago.

Highlanders lost Bruce Kangwa and Eric Mudzingwa through injuries in the 31st and 35th minute and they immediately lost shape after a rather fine start. Simon Munawa came in for Kangwa while Tapiwa Dephistara replaced Mudzingwa.

Zekumbawire fired Harare City into the lead in the last minute of the added four minutes in the first half, unleashing a powerful left-footed shot from inside the box.

Manondo who came on as a second-half substitute, replacing Osborne Mukuradare on 61 minutes then added the second with a low grounder after a good set up by Zekumbawire on 65 minutes.

Vengesayi then scored the insurance goal at the stroke of full time beating Ariel Sibanda after picking a loose ball following a scramble in the penalty area.

Yet it was Highlanders who had started brightly, carving out good chances in the first half in which they threatened to run over their opponents with Simba Sithole coming close on nine minutes, only to direct his effort just wide.

Kangwa also had a good opportunity, but his long-range drive was tipped over by goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu before Rahman Kutsanzira wasted a headed opportunity following a lovely cross by Charles Sibanda.

However, Harare City proved they were determined to win as Timire Mamvura came close, only to watch his effort going wide after a good set up by Zekumbawire on 22 minutes. On 31 minutes, Mamvura’s powerful speculative shot following a good pass by Arnold Chivheya drew a fine save from goalkeeper Sibanda.

Moments later, City defender David Kutyauripo headed straight into the hands of Sibanda before the two injuries to Bosso that proved to be the turning point of the match. Harare City took control of the match, launching wave after wave of attack in the Bosso goal area.

Harare City coach Masimba Dinyero was happy to reach the final of the $500K Chibuku Super Cup.

“We were mentally and physically prepared for this match so I am happy with our performance today. Francesco was brilliant, he is a good ball keeper. He has created a lot of chances for the team and had a very good game. I told them not to give Highlanders room and avoid an early goal which is why we started slowly,” he said.

Dejected Highlanders coach Mark Mathe said: “The mentality was wrong in the second half. We lacked the fighting spirit. We lacked the drive to come back into the game. We need to regroup very fast.

“It’s very alarming the results that are coming. We are coming to the business end of the league so we have to regroup in the shortest possible time because there are still 15 points to play for,” he said.

“I don’t want to argue that we lost because of injuries, but they affected our tactics and rhythm. I think we lost the match when we conceded a goal just seconds before half time.”

Highlanders: A Sibanda, R Kutsanzira (P Manhanga 66min), C Sibanda, M Maphosa,  B Kangwa (S Munawa 31min), I Mapuranga, F Chindungwe, D Ndlovu, E Mudzingwa (T Dephistara 35min), H Moyo, S Sithole.

Harare City: M Nyamupangedengu, M Nyenye, A Chivheya, D Kutyauripo, A Chaka, T Ngulube, T Mamvura, M Vengesai, O Mukuradare(W Manondo 61min), F Zekumbawire, T Chawapiwa (B Maglas 75min)

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading