Motor Action . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 2
Zimbabwe Saints . . . . . . . . . . 0
Motor Action kept their treble dream alive with a well-deserved win over Zimbabwe Saints in the Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-final match played at a waterlogged Sakubva Stadium yesterday.
The match was delayed for over an hour because of a heavy downpour that hit Mutare just after midday.
Tawanda Ushe’s 12th minute strike from a free-kick just outside the box and Passmore Bernard’s low shot midway through the second half were enough to put the Mighty Bulls into their second major final.
They will now meet Dynamos who beat FC Platinum 1-0 in another semi-final match played at Barbourfields yesterday.
Motor Action coach Prince Matore was ecstatic after the final whistle as he led his team into wild celebrations.
He managed to utter a few words though: “The guys played well. They are looking forward to play their match against Dynamos in the final.”
As for Zimbabwe Saints, they said they will now have to shift their focus to the relegation battle they are locked in.
“The pitch affected my team, but we adjusted in the second half and we were a better team than Motor Action. I want to wish Motor Action all the best to win the Mbada Diamonds Cup. Now my focus is on the league where I’m facing a daunting task of avoiding relegation. I hope to win my last three matchers to avoid relegation,” Chawanda said.
The league champions, chasing an unlikely treble after winning the BancABC Sup8r early this year, were the first to come out of the blocks as they attack their opponents with more purpose.
They could have gone in front as early as the first minute when Allan Gahadzikwa’s long ball into the penalty area was met by Masimba Mambare who surprisingly shot straight to man-of-the-match goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya who did well to tip over the crossbar.
However, there was nothing Diya could do to stop Ushe’s well- struck fre-kick moments later.
Diya, who was clearly the busier of the two goalkeepers, was again called into action on the 27th minute, this time denying Thembani Masuku from close-range shot.
It was one way traffic in the first half, with a defensive Saints sitting deep in their own half and allowing Motor Action to come at them at will.
Zimbabwe Saints changed their game plan in the second half as they threw in numbers in front.
However, the move backfired as they left gaps in the back and they were punished. Masimba Mambare released a long ball from his own half for Bernard to run to.
The Young Warriors right-back outpaced the Saints defenders to coolly beat the advancing Diya.
Saints had a chance to reduce the arrears in the 83rd minute when they were awarded a penalty, but captain Abraham Mubaiwa’s rising shot from the spot hit the crossbar.
A minute later, a pile driver from Mlamuli Phakathi missed the target by inches with Motor Action goalkeeper Marlon Jani a beaten man.