Harare City through to Chibuku final

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William Manondo (27) joins Ronald Chitiyo (7) and Martin Vengesai (9) in celebrating the winner yesterday

A SOLITARY strike by Martin Vengesai propelled Harare City to their third final of the Chibuku Super Cup in four years after the Philani Ncube-coached outfit prevailed over Bulawayo City in a lunch-time semi-final kick off at Barbourfields Stadium
yesterday.

BY SAKHELENI NXUMALO
BULAWAYO CITY . . . . 0
HARARE CITY . . . .(1) 1

Vengesayi scored with a cheeky back heel off a Pritchard Mpelele cross on 28 minutes and his goal proved enough for the Sunshine Boys to set up a date against How Mine in the final.

Harare City coach Ncube, who prior to yesterday’s match had made public his desire to meet his former side How Mine in the final, described his team’s progress into the final of the country’s biggest cup competition as a big accomplishment.

“As far as I am concerned, this is an achievement because after we failed to collect maximum points against Chicken Inn (in a league match on Thursday), we sat down and focused on winning the semi-final and I am happy for the boys and everyone associated with Harare City,” he said.

“This club has a good history in this competition and I did not want to be the one to spoil it.”

This year’s Chibuku Super Cup final appearance will be Harare City’s third since the tournament’s re-introduction in 2014.

They lost to FC Platinum in that year before lifting the title the following year after beating Dynamos 2-0.

Last year, they reached the semis.

Bulawayo City coach Mandla Mpofu praised his charges for putting up a good show despite their exit from the competition.

“We are not looking down and I think we gave a good account of ourselves, especially in the second half, where we could have equalised, but luck was not on our side,” he said.

The match was, indeed, a game of two halves as Harare City dominated exchanges in the first half and their supremacy culminated in Vengesai’s opener just before the half hour mark, his 11th goal of the season in all competitions.

The Sunshine Boys could have doubled their lead five minutes before the half time break, but veteran defender Zephania Ngodzo put his body on the line to block a goal-bound Vengesai effort.

Bulawayo City returned from the breather a rejuvenated side, with the hardworking Sipho Ndlovu twice testing Harare City keeper Tatenda Munditi from long range soon after the restart.

But for all their dominance in the second half, they struggled to breach the Harare City defence, and when they did on the 73rd minute, Trevor Ndlovu’s shot from outside the penalty box hit the upright.

TEAMS

BULAWAYO CITY: N Sibanda, A Thandi, M Mungadze, N Mukumbi, Z Ngodzo, R Pavari, S Ndlovu ( H Masuku, 82’), I Kutsanzira (B Ncube, 70’), T Ndlovu, N Sianchali, C Rupiya (M Moyo, 51’).

HARARE CITY: T Munditi, T Chimwemwe, P Mpelele (P Tshuma, 63’), J Tigere, R Uchena, T Samanja, E Madhananga, W Manondo, W Muvirimi (T Balakasi, 80’), P Kabwe (L Muyambo, 59’), M Vengesai