Ngezi crowned Castle Challenge Cup champions

25 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Ngezi crowned  Castle Challenge  Cup champions

The Sunday Mail

Don Makanyanga in MHONDORO-NGEZI

Ngezi Platinum Stars . . . . . . . . . (1) 2

Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  0

NGEZI PLATINUM STARS sent a strong message of intent, as the defending Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions picked up their first piece of silverware this season, courtesy of a two-nil win over Dynamos at Baobab Stadium yesterday.

It was a sweet victory for the platinum miners, who were denied a cup double by Dynamos in the Chibuku Super Cup final in December after they were walloped 2-1.

Yesterday, it was Ngezi’s turn as they defeated their rivals to lift the Castle Challenge Cup.

Claude Mapoka gave the hosts the lead five minutes before the break when he intercepted a weak clearance from Dynamos skipper Frank Makarati and slotted the ball from close range.

Second-half substitute Ellson Mweha then extended Ngezi’s lead 20 minutes from the final whistle when he beat his marker on the right flank and unleashed a powerful grounder to the far post.

Ngezi Platinum Stars head coach Takesure Chiragwi described the win as a big morale booster, as the defending champions now turn their attention to the start of the season this weekend.

“We are very happy; it is the dream of every coach and player to win a trophy and put silverware into the cabinet,” he said.

“When you win such games, it gives you confidence, which is very important going into the season.

“It is good for the Champions to keep winning and keep that mentality going forward.”

The Glamour Boys’ coach, Genesis Mangombe, felt it was an eye-opening match for his charges, admitting that his boys gave away soft goals.

“When you play professional football, you can’t afford to make such kind of mistakes.

“All we can do now is learn from those errors and hopefully address them before we go into the new season.

“The goals were soft and silly and you cannot win matches from such mistakes,” said Mangombe.

The clashes between the two sides are slowly turning into one of the country’s entertaining rivalries. A lot was expected of the two during the build-up.

Unfortunately, yesterday’s match failed to live up to expectations.

In the first half, both teams put up below-par performances, with Mapoka’s goal being the only talking point.

The two teams hardly threatened each other’s goal during the opening quarter of an hour.

The first goal attempt of the match came in after 16 minutes when Makopa saw his header landing safely in the hands of Pride Tafiremutsa in goals for Dynamos.

Dynamos had only one shot on target in the first half, which came off the foot of Issa Sadiki in the 20th minute.

Ten minutes later, Gareth Madhake broke loose on the right flank, only to miscue his effort.

The start of the second half saw a slightly improved performance by both teams as the tempo of the game changed.

Dynamos had the upper hand in the opening exchanges of that half, after which Ngezi killed off that momentum with the second goal.

With both sides heavily active during the pre-season transfer market, fans came expecting to get a glimpse of the new signings.  The hosts gave debut starts to Richard Hachiro and Talent Chamboko before introducing Never Tigere in the second half.

Dynamos unleashed Temptation Chiwunga and Nomore Chinyerere.

Teams

Ngezi Platinum Stars: M. Chang, T. Chamboko (N.Tigere 46 min) , P. Moyo, K. Chigwida, G. Madhake, L. Kashitigu, R. Hachiro, T.Benhura (E.Mweha 50 min)  , T. Mashaireni , T. Mandinyenya,C. Mapoka (T.Murasaranwa 65 min)

Dynamo: P. Tafiremutsa, E. Jalai, F. Makarati ( D. Dzvinyai 60 min)  K. Moyo, N. Chinyerere, T. Chiwunga, T. Shandirwa, D. Mudadi, I. Sadiki, E. Chikona, K.Madera.

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