Real Mutare lifts Marwa tro­phy

The Manica Post - - Sport - Free­dom Mu­tanda Sports Cor­re­spon­dent

AM­BI­TIOUS lo­cal soccer out­fit, Real Mutare, pulled a sur­prise and came out tops in the ex­hil­a­rat­ing Marwa soccer tour­na­ment af­ter they out-played Ratleshoek FC in the fi­nals at New Year’s Eve in Chipinge.

The tour­na­ment which saw soccer le­gends, Lloyd Mu­tasa and Alois Bun­jira at­tend­ing, drew thou­sands of vil­lagers from all walks of life.

Gib­son Marwa, in an in­ter­view, re­vealed that it has al­ways been his wish to have a team from Chipinge in the Cas­tle Lager Premier Soccer League.

“I al­ways wish to see at least one team in the top flight league and I be­lieve that grass­roots soccer de­vel­op­ment is the way to go.

“We failed to hold the 2016 jam­boree due to lo­gis­ti­cal prob­lems but I have seen raw tal­ent here which scouts have iden­ti­fied,” said Marwa.

This year’s tour­na­ment saw 30 teams grouped into 10 pots of three. Af­ter the first round, 16 teams qual­i­fied and bat­tled it out in the quar­ter fi­nal berth.

“Af­ter the sec­ond round, we had Musapin­gura War­riors, Real Mutare, Rat­ings, Black Ea­gles, Eastern Stars, Ra­telshoek, Zona and Caps Ton­ho­rai,” the tour­na­ment’s Farai Chi­jokwe said.

The game be­tween Rat­ings and Eastern Stars was the pick of the quar­ter fi­nals and it ended with a nar­row one-goal vic­tory for the for­mer. On the other hand, Real Mutare bun­dled Black Ea­gles out of the tour­ney af­ter a penalty shootout. Ra­telshoek had the bet­ter of Zona which had out­mus­cled the hosts, Mutema FC. Musapin­gura War­riors won a penalty lot­tery against Caps Ton­ho­rai.

Real Mutare pre­vailed over the Divi­sion one-bound Rat­ing through the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Ra­telshoek, in a bat­tle of the Tan­gan­das, won 1-0 and pro­ceeded to the fi­nals which were held at the Mutema School foot­ball ground in the back drop of a heavy down­pour.

The match it­self was a cliff hanger although Real Mutare brought the house down through pur­pose­ful foot­ball punc­tu­ated by crisp pass­ing and good off the ball runs. In the 11th minute, Real Mutare scored af­ter a long pass from the mid­field be­fore Lib­erty Mu­tumwa got past a num­ber of Ra­telshoek play­ers and slot­ted the ball home. Ra­telshoek play­ers tried their best to find the equaliser through some pur­pose­ful play, but their best was not good enough.

20-year-old Real Mutare skip­per, Re­deem Mashata was the player of the tour­na­ment while the goal­keeper of the com­pe­ti­tion was Ton­derai Si­mango from Ra­telshoek. Spencer Makoni grabbed the top goal scorer gong.

For win­ning the Marwa gala, Real Mutare were awarded a tro­phy, US$500 and $300 Ecocash. Ra­telshoek re­ceived US$400 and $300 Ecocash.

Rat­ings re­ceived US$300 and $300 Ecocash. Musapin­gura were given US$200 and $300 Ecocash. Each team re­ceived $300 for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the tour­na­ment.

“We used close to US$50 000 for this tour­na­ment. My aim is to make it a na­tional event,” added Marwa.

Gib­son Marwa the spon­sor meets of the play­ers at Mutema Grounds on New Year's eve

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