ZIMBABWEANS at South African Premier Soccer League side Mamelodi Sundowns ended the season on a high after lifting the R7 million Nedbank Cup on Sunday, beating Ajax Cape Town after a penalty shoot-out for their only cup success this season.
According to Sundowns’ policy, players share all the prize money.
The Brazilians are home to Khama Billiat, Cuthbert Malajila, Esrom Nyandoro and Peter Ndlovu, who is the team manager.
Billiat played the entire match while Malajila was introduced in the second half. Both players, the former playing his maiden cup final with Sundowns, had good chances to put the game in their team’s favour, but they could not.
However, Billiat still expressed joy at the team’s victory whose reward is a R7 million cheque, saying his team had laid a marker for more success next season.
“It’s good to win this trophy,” he told the South African media after the match.
“Now we are going to strategise on how we come back next season. Hard work is something we need in order to achieve more next season.”
Still in the South African Premiership, the league held its season awards on Sunday night, but there was no Zimbabwean who walked on to the podium.
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande, who narrowly missed on the Footballer of the Year award last season, was nominated for the Best Midfielder this time around, but was beaten to the accolade by Mamelodi Sundowns star Teko Modise.
In the PSL Promotion/Relegation Play-Off match at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Charlton Mashumba’s Jomo Cosmos side was humbled 2-0 by Black Leopards.
The highly-rated Mashumba had two chances to get at least a goal in the match, but was denied on both occasions by exceptional saves from the home side’s goalkeeper Avhashoni Tshinuna.
In Europe, Costa Nhamoinesu’s Czech Republic league side Sparta Praha responded to last week’s defeat to log leaders Viktoria Plzeñ with a 5-2 hammering of 10th, placed Slovácko.
The win saw Praha keeping pressure on Plzeñ with 63 points, three behind the leaders with just two games remaining before the season ends.
Nhamoinesu, one of the players who are expected to play a part in the upcoming Afcon qualifiers for Warriors, played the entire match.
The left-back, voted the best foreign player in the league last year, has missed just one game of the 28 his team has played so far.
Marvelous Nakamba is beginning to get game time at his Vitesse team in the Dutch premier league and he was introduced on the hour mark as his team was held to a 3-3 draw by Utrecht on Sunday. The midfielder started the season on the fringes, but has been enjoying some game time of late, and has featured in the last six matches for a combined 91 minutes of play.
His involvement in matches could be good news for Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa who has publicly stated that he would consider professionals for selection for the Afcon qualifiers.
Archford Gutu returned to Värnamo’s starting line-up in the Swedish second-tier league after missing last week’s match through suspension.
The Warriors man picked his third yellow card in six matches a fortnight ago which triggered a one-match suspension last week, but the midfield hardman was at it again on his return when he picked his fourth caution of the season in seven matches.
Gutu is on loan from league side Kalma FF.