Harare City . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 1
Monomotapa . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
SILAS Songani hit a stunning free kick as Harare City advanced to the
quarter-finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup after elbowing out last year’s finalists Monomotapa at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
The Harare City winger, later named the man of the match to take home $500 and a trophy, won a free kick outside the area on 67 minutes. And as he stepped up to take responsibility, he showed conviction and panache before expertly thumping the ball past the wall and Monomotapa goalkeeper Tapiwa Zvaita.
But with the goal coming just after a black cat had strayed into the stadium before running throughout the pitch and towards the Monomotapa goal, it highlighted once again the belief in juju in football as fans chanted “Mawiwi! Mawiwi!”
Monomotapa coach Biggie Zuze said he has not seen that before and was also surprised by the cat in particular the direction it took as it ran into the pitch.
“It surprised me as well especially the direction which it took. But these things happen in our African football. It’s unfortunate we could not convert our chances, but I thought we were the better side especially in the first half.
“Our main problem is that we are failing to convert the chances we are creating. Overall I am happy with the way we are playing and it’s now over for the Mbada Diamonds Cup. We now shift focus to the league and with the way we are playing we will look to do well,” said Zuze.
His counterpart Bigboy Mawiwi said on the cat’s adventures: “I am a coach. I have played football, but have never seen that before so I can’t comment. But we knew it was going to be tough against Monomotapa. They have not beaten us before and it was never going to be easy. They dominated the first half, but we had to be patient and we maintained our shape,” said Mawiwi.
Charles Rukwanhi had a good opportunity thrust Monomotapa into the lead on 23 minutes after collecting a pass from Morgan Mungombe, but his effort went straight into the hands of the keeper.
Songani also had a good chance three minutes later after bursting through the Harare City defence but his effort on the left flank was blocked by Hillary Mugoniwa. However, their best opportunity came on 29 minutes, but Talent Chawapiwa blazed a rebound over the bar after goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu spilled a shot by Songani.
But still Monomotapa remained in control with Obey Mwerahari and Clive Boroma coming close in the last ten minutes of the first half.
Monomotapa maintained their dominance in the second half with Ismael Lawe coming close in the 56th minute after racing clear
of the defence only for his effort to be spilled by the keeper. Ronald Chitiyo pounced on the rebound but his effort was blocked again.