FRENCH giants Lyon dedicated their 3-1 Uefa Champions League quarter-final win over Manchester City to the late Zimbabwean coach Prince “Pipi” Kadewere.
Prince, the elder brother of Lyon and Warriors striker Tino Kadewere, passed away last Wednesday and was buried in Zvimba on Saturday just a few hours before the match kick-off at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon, Portugal.
Spurred by the pain of seeing their teammate lose his brother and mentor, the Lyon players defied the odds and defeated City, who were expected to go all the way in Lisbon and win the coveted European club football’s biggest prize.
A goal from Maxwell Cornet and a brace from Moussa Dembele propelled the Ligue 1 side into a semi-final date with German giants Bayern Munich.
Manchester City got their consolation goal from the mercurial Kevin Du Bryne.
After the game, Lyon talisman Memphis Depay paid tribute to Prince.
“What team work! What a proud moment for the players, staff, president, Club and supporters!!!
“Tonight’s victory shows with dreaming and believing you can achieve things! …also dedicate this victory to Prince Kadewere! Rest in heaven,” Depay tweeted.
“Tino, we keep you and your family in our prayers.”
Before kick-off, the Lyon players had warmed up wearing T-shirts emblazoned “Rest in heaven Prince Kadewere.”
The big screen at the match venue also displayed the same message before kick-off.
Lyon’s reaction to Prince’s death is understandable considering that Tino is being touted as their next big star since both Depay and Dembele are expected to move this coming transfer window.
Tino signed for Lyon last year after an impressive campaign with Ligue 2 side Le Havre.
After securing his signature, Lyon sent the Warriors striker back to Le Havre on loan to finish the Ligue 2 season.
The transfer was finally completed in May when Tino began training with his new teammates after the French football season was ended due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Lyon, however, continued training since they are still involved in the Champions League.
The French giants had hoped they would be allowed to use Tino in the competition but Uefa declined to register the Warriors international.