ZIMBABWE international Marvellous Nakamba saw his Dutch top-flight football side Vitesse reach the final of the Europa League playoffs on Sunday after they drew 1-1 with PEC Zwolle to go through 3-2 on aggregate.
They had won the first leg last Thursday 2-1 away, while Mark Uth scored twice in extra time as Heerenveen ousted Feyenoord from the Europa League playoffs in the Netherlands following a 2-2 draw on Sunday.
Nakamba did not play the opening match, but made a late entry in the second leg, coming in for Ecuadorian international Alex Ibarra in the 91st minute as they secured their spot.
The former Bantu Rovers man had been called up to the Young Warriors squad for Sunday’s Under 23 Championships qualifier second round, first leg against Swaziland at Rufaro Stadium, but could not make it due to the play offs.
The Young Warriors drew 0-0.
Burkina Faso midfielder Bertrand Traore had Vitesse ahead on 18 minutes when he netted his 14th of the league season.
Czech midfielder Tomas Necid equalised 11 minutes after halftime, but PEC could not find another to force the game to extra time and had defender Maikel van der Werff sent off late on after he collected a second yellow card.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Feyenoord took the tie to extra time when Anass Achahbar netted four minutes before halftime.
The Rotterdam club were forced to play the extra period with 10 men when substitute Luke Wilkshire was forced off through injury and the home team had already made their three changes.
Heerenveen took advantage with Uth’s double blow in five extra-time minutes, before Colin Kazim-Richards found an equaliser on the day, but there was too little time left for Feyenoord to salvage the tie.
With international seasons having ended, it’s crunch time for those whose contracts expire on June 30 as they seek new deals.
Mathew Rusike’s current deal at South African champions Kaizer Chiefs ends next month and will be looking to renew it, but issues surrounding the future of coach Stuart Baxter might put that on hold.
Baxter has not committed his future to Naturena amid interest from Morocco’s cash-rich Raja Casablanca.
Rusike’s situation could be further complicated by the imminent arrival of either the 2014/2015 Golden Boot winner Moeketsi Sekola from Free State Stars and Bongani Ndulula from relegated AmaZulu.
But with Amakhosi set for the Caf Champions League again next season, they need more experienced players and Rusike might be kept in the team.
Warriors international Ovidy Karuru has also seen little game time at Chiefs and could be sent on loan, while SuperSport United have already sent goalkeeper George Chigova to Polokwane City after the former Dynamos number one spent the season on the bench.
Little known Zimbabwean international Patrick Kaunda, signed by Platinum Stars last year from FC Satmos, has already been offloaded and is looking for new suitors.
Kaunda had been signed on a two-year deal, but saw little action inside his first season leading to his departure.
Mamelodi Sundowns’ midfielder Esrom Nyandoro is likely to call time on his career after spending 11 years at Chloorkop where he won the Jet Rookie of the Year in his debut season, in addition to various club honours and a managerial post is in the offing.