Rebels boot out United FC

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Allen Khu­malo Sports Re­porter

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

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