ZVISHAVANE – When Shabanie Mine’s Luke Masomere boldly declared after his charges’ semifinal victory over Dynamos that the BancABC Cup was destined for his team’s cabinet many thought the outspoken coach was jumping the gun.
This was because that semifinal victory over DeMbare had set up a potentially explosive all-Zvishavane final against Shabanie’s bitter hometown rivals FC Platinum who had convincingly beaten Monomotapa 3-1 the previous day.
But the man who now goes by the moniker of ‘Doctor of football’ went on to deliver on his promise when he led his charges to a 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Platinum in the final on Saturday at Mandava Stadium.
The final lived up to expectations as the hometown rivalry that exists between the two teams resulted in 120 minutes of football which however failed to provide a winner and the final had to be decided by the dreaded penalty lottery.
Shabanie Mine clearly thought they had the better chance of winning via penalties as evidenced by their keeper Victor Twaliki’s time delaying tactic during the second half of extra time.
Twaliki was the hero for Shabanie in their 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Dynamos in the semifinal stage and his delaying stunt must have been intended as a message to the opposition that he was ready to repeat his heroics.
And indeed the penalty lottery was inevitable after referee Norman Matemera blew his whistle to signal the end of the extra time period with the match still goal less.
The two teams dished out some top of the shelf penalty kicks during the shoot-out with Shabanie Mine converting their first four kicks through Blessed Mbavarira, Valentine Ndaba, William Ngonya, and Twaliki.
Daniel Veremu, Winston Mhango and Thabani Kamusoko replied for FC Platinum but their fourth penalty taker Obrey Chirwa watched in disbelief as his kick totally missed the target.
It was then up to midfielder Tafadzwa Mombeshora to win the game for Shabanie by converting his team’s fifth kick and the veteran footballer did not disappoint as he duly slotted the ball past FC Platinum keeper Francis Tizayi to bring about wild celebrations from his team’s supporters.
Mombeshora was the captain of the day for Shabanie Mine and was deservedly chosen as the man of the match after running his socks off playing just in front of the central defence partnership of Mbavarira and Smart Muchabaiwa.
The 120 minutes of football may have failed to separate the two teams but this was not because of a lack of enterprise as both sides created quite a number of chances throughout the entire match.
The football just could not cross the goal line leading to some spectators to joke that it was the work of the supernatural and the goal posts were not present at the venue.
After the match Masomere declared that better things are to come for Shabanie Mine and who in their right mind can doubt the self styled Doctor after he has just led his financially disadvantaged side to victory over their well sponsored rivals in the country’s second richest cup competition?