Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . 0
Highlanders . . . . . . . .0
(Highlanders won 4-3 after a penalty shootout)
Highlanders finally broke the five-year Dynamos jinx after beating their long-time football nemesis in a penalty shoot-out to lift the Independence Trophy at the National Sports Stadium Monday.
Bosso recovered from a nervy start to the penalty shootout where Innocent Mapuranga’s penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper Washington Arubi but Lawson Nkomo, Misheck Mburayi, Gilbert Banda and Njabulo “JB” Ncube remained cool and found the target.
Guthrie Zhokinyi, who had missed a penalty earlier in the game, failed to atone for that mistake and skied his effort in the penalty shootout.
Desmond Maringwa was given the responsibility to take the decisive kick but dragged his effort wide to send the Highlanders faithful into delirium. David Kutyauripo, Farai Vimisai and George Magariro had converted for Dynamos.
For their efforts, Highlanders were presented with a trophy and $12 000 while Dynamos got an
$8 000 consolation.
In the third place playoff that was played at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, Gunners beat Motor Action 9–8 also on a penalty shoot-out. Gunners got $6 000 while the Mighty Bulls received $4 000 for finishing fourth.
Patrick Makuvaza, David Sengu, Cliff Sekete, Ronald Sengu, Wellington Kamudyariwa, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Prince Mbara, Ishmael Lawe and Arnold Chaka were on a target for the former league champions.
Gift Phiri, Godfrey Moyo, Aggripah Murimba, goalkeeper Ronald Mudimu, Edmore Chitato, Thulani Saidi, Allan Gahadzikwa and Masimba Mambare converted for the Bulls.
Reuben Machaya’s spot kick was saved by Gunners goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba.
Murimba had scored for Motor Action while Gunners equalised through Elvis Meleka in regulation time.
Highlanders coach Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku was over the moon after the match.
“After so many years I’m glad that we finally did it. I also feel honoured to be the one who finally broke that jinx and I should also thank the supporters who came out today to support the team. I dedicate this win and the trophy to them for their continued support,” he said.
The Dynamos technical team looked dejected after the match and assistant coach Ralph Kawondera said his team was just unlucky.
He also defended Zhokinyi who failed to convert from the spot on two occasions.
“Lady Luck was not on our side,” said Kawondera.
“We missed a penalty and a lot of chances in the game. We practise penalties at training and he (Zhikonyi) is one of our regular penalty takers. When he missed the first one we asked if he was prepared to take the second one and he said yes, so we had to give it to him.”
The last time Highlanders beat Dynamos in all competitions was in 2006 when they won back-to-back in the league but it was clear from the outset that they were out to end that winless run.
Dynamos’ only meaningful chance came in the 15th minute when the lively Martin Vengesai raced through on the right but was hacked down by Lunga as he entered the box and referee Ruzive Ruzive pointed to the spot.
Zhokinyi stepped up but skied his effort.