Mad­zokere sus­pen­sion blow for Ngezi

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

CUP fi­nal debu­tants Ngezi Plat­inum have been dealt a body blow ahead of their Chibuku Su­per Cup fi­nal clash against FC Plat­inum on Satur­day fol­low­ing the sus­pen­sion of their tough-as-teak de­fender Byron Mad­zokere. Mad­zokere, who has formed a for­mi­da­ble three­man de­fen­sive wall with Part­son Jaure and Edgar Tapera, picked up yel­low cards against Hwange in the quar­ter­fi­nals and in the semi-fi­nal duel with High­landers.

The sus­pen­sion has left coach Ton­derai Ndi­raya a wor­ried man.

“We were dis­turbed with news that Byron will not be play­ing in the fi­nal due to sus­pen­sion and that has be been our stum­bling block in prepa­ra­tions. We just have to find an able re­place­ment and right now two guys are fight­ing for his place and I just hope they will fit in we well,” said Ndi­raya.

He said de­spite the set­back, other play­ers were av avail­able and ready to do bat­tle in what is turn­ing out to be a fairy­tale run for the PSL debu­tants, who were at one time strong can­di­dates for rel­e­ga­tion un­til the arr ar­rival of Ndi­raya.

“Play­ing at home has some­how as­sisted us, but we are a bit con­cerned by the ex­cite­ment on the boys’ part. W We are try­ing to con­trol that so that they ap­proach the ga game nor­mally just like any other match we have played be be­cause now you can clearly see the overex­cite­ment in the them. Phys­i­cally and tech­ni­cally the boys are ready wi with my worry be­ing the psy­cho­log­i­cal as­pect, but we are work­ing on cor­rect­ing that,” said Ndi­raya.

They come up against a side with tried and trusted per­son­nel both on the tech­ni­cal side and play­ing per­son­nel, as some were part of the team that lifted the Chibuku Su­per Cup in its in­au­gu­ral year in 2014.

Be­sides coach Nor­man Mapeza, play­ers like goal­keeper Pet­ros Mhari and the Moyo twins, Elvis and Kelvin, are among the play­ers that won the cup in its in­au­gu­ral year through a 3-1 penalty shootout win over Harare City.

City thought they had done ev­ery­thing in their power to win, but with just sec­onds be­fore the end of the match and the score line 1-0 in their favour, dis­taster stuck when FC Plat­inum were awarded a free kick, which Tha­bani Ka­mu­soko took and Wal­ter Mu­sona slot­ted home in the re­sult­ing goal­mouth melee.

Win­ners of Satur­day’s fi­nal will walk away with $75 000 and the right to rep­re­sent Zim­babwe in the Caf Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup next sea­son. The losers will walk away with $50 000.

Ac­cord­ing to the rules of the tour­na­ment, the match will go into ex­tra time in the event the two sides are dead­locked af­ter 90 min­utes and if there is no win­ner af­ter ex­tra time, penalty shootouts will de­cide the win­ner. — @skhu­moyo2000

Ton­derai Ndi­raya

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