Rebels boot out United FC
UNITED FC’s hopes of landing the Townshend and Butcher Cup were halted by a 1-3 crushing defeat to Rebels FC in a semifinal tie at Barbourfields Stadium’s outside grounds yesterday.
Khalimani Ncube gave Rebels the lead in the 27th minute with a well-executed volley that caught the United keeper off-guard.
Tendai Phiri levelled the scores in the 32nd minute through a header from a corner kick. Ralph Nkosilathi restored Rebels’ lead in the 44th minute before Brendan Mpala sealed victory in the 81st minute.
The other semi-final match between Laduma and Madamara was abandoned in the 76th minute when the referee red carded Laduma’s Dominic Nyika for dissent after he had been brought down inside the Madamara box. e referee first awarded Nyika a free-kick on the edge of the box before showing him a straight red after a heated exchange. Laduma players protested and the referee changed his mind and pointed to the spot, triggering chaotic scenes as both sets of players started pushing and shoving each other.
The referee then signalled the abandonment of the match as he had totally lost control of proceedings.
“The match was abandoned due to poor officiating,” said Bulawayo Amateur Football Association Chairman (BAFA) chairman Chris Mutungwazi.
“We strongly condemn such officiating because it demoralises the players. The association is going to meet during the week and we will give a report on which team will qualify for the finals. The date for the final has been set and we cannot afford to change it,” he said.
Laduma coach Dominic Sibanda was furious with the referee. “Referees cannot afford to make such poor decisions at this stage of the tournament. The referee was contradicting other match officials, causing confusion. Right now BAFA has asked both teams and the match officials to write a report and we will wait for the final decision,” said Sibanda. — @khumzallen