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Dragons, Masters storm into League Cup semi-finals

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BY BHEKIMPILO WEZA

Masters and Dragons stormed into the Kachechete Football League Cup semi-finals after beating Zamalek and Ajax in the quarter finals over the weekend.

In an exciting weekend for the Kachechete Football League, it was Dragons who set the tone for a dream final when they dispatched a determined Zamalek on Saturday afternoon.

Zamalek, who dominated the match, were very unlucky to have been knocked out after penalty shootouts.

The team played with vigour and determination, put ting up a spirited performance but all was in vain when the match was decided through spot kicks.

They could have won it after 90 minutes, but their captain Derrick Weza missed two golden opportunities, with the most hurting one being in the 78th minute when he was set through by hard working Buzani Weza.

The captain reacted very slowly and allowed Dragons defender Cornwell Moyo to clear the danger.

Zamalek had been handed another opportunity 28 minutes into the match, but again,t he captain missed it.

In the 43rd minute, Zamalek were denied what looked like a clear goal when Mthabisi Ngwenya broke through, but the referee Nkululeko Mahlangu adjudged him to have been offside.

It was a day that Dragons will regret with only one chance in the entire match.

The chance fell into the head of their top man Mqabuko Ndlovu’s head, but his header was weak and it went wide.

When the referee blew the final whistle, it was now left to the players to decide who goes to the semis.

The Dragons used their experience and scored all their spot kicks with Zamalek missing one to bow out five goals to three.

Speaking at the end of the game, Dragons coach Dominic Ncube admitted that the host was the better side.

For Zamalek, coach Bikani Weza said the defeat meant going back to the drawing board..

“It’s a setback,” he said.

“We wanted to progress, but that’s football.

“We will work on the team as we build for next season and good luck to Dragons in the semis.”

Meanwhile, Masters beat Ajax 2-1 in an entertaining quarter final on the same day.

Masters got their goals from Mbekezeli Moyo and Farai Ndlovu against a lsaac Mvundlas consolation to progress to the semis of the league cup.

The win by Masters brings memories of a dream final as they avoided Dragons in the semi-finals.

They will have to face an unpredictable Mopane, who overcame the Legends by three goals to nil in the quarter finals.

The semi-finals will be on Saturday with the final set for the sixth of November.

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Dragon vs Ziyabaluma

Masters vs Mopane

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Lupinyo Bullets crowned Mvuthu Champions

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BY BHEKIMPILO WEZA

Lupinyo Bullets Football Club have been crowned as the Champions legends after edging Indlovu lyanyathela four goals to two on a penalty shoot out after the two teams were deadlocked in ninety minutes.

Throughout the Sunday match played at Sinyore Stadium, Lupinyo were the better team on the field and evidently did not wish for a penalty shootout, but when the decision shootout decision was taken, it was almost everyone’s expectation to see lndlovu Iyanyathela winning considering the way they have been brilliant on penalties throughout the championship games.

During the match, the Bullets were dominant especially in the middle of the field where Mthokozisi Sibanda and Khulumane Mathe were operating. 

They could have taken the lead in the eighteenth minute when Terrence Mathe received a pass from Brightman Dube, but his effort went wide.

Ten minutes later, Lupinyo missed their second chance when Mathe won the ball in the middle and released it to Sibanda who played a through ball to onrushing Dube who hurried his shot over the bar.

Sensing danger, Indlovu coach lsaac Mukombwe made a change bringing in Macbey Ncube to replace Bongani Tshuma.The move almost paid off as Ncube’s strike went over the bar after stealing the ball from Sibanda. 

Playing a new formation in the finals, Lupinyo looked dangerous throughout the match and out of sorts striker Tyrol Ncube, who was tightly marked by Washington Ndlovu got the ball from the center exchanged passes with Mathe before unleashing a thunderbolt that went over the bar.

As the match progressed, it was almost becoming clear that the two teams will go for a penalty shootout, but in the last five minutes lndlovu lyanthela failed to stamp on head of the Bullets when substitute Learnmore Ncube missed by inches after being set up by Godknows Ncube with the net yawning wide of goal, much to the relief of the Bullets supporters and players. 

When the final whistle sounded, it was all left to the two goalkeepers, Charlton Lusabe and Ricardo Ncube.

Lupinyo prevailed through Primrose Ncube,Tyrol Ncube, Mbekezeli Ndlovu and Mthokozisi Sibanda while lndlovu scored through Ricardo Ncube and Godknows Ncube.

The win was the first Champions cup for Lupinyo Bullets and coach Clement Nyoni was a happy man although he gave lndlovu the credit in the game.

“l am happy my boys played well and they were very  disciplined, but credit goes to Indlovu lyanyathela whi fought a real battle,” Nyoni said.

Speaking of the same event, the awards managing director of Victoria Falls Veterinary Service, Chidobe Complex and Agricultural Zone Gordin Moyo said such community matches are done to unite the communities. 

Meanwhile Red Wipers are the champions of Mvuthu Soccer League after beating Black Leopard to claim the title on the last day.

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Battle lines drawn as Indlovu Iyanyathela and Lupinyo Bullets meet in Championship finals

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BY BHEKIMPILO WEZA

When Champions League games began, every team wanted to be in the finals and none was willing to give  Lupinyo Bullets a chance at that stage, but the team from a small village has found itself in the finals against a most assembled Indlovu Iyanyathela from the Monde League.

The two teams will square up in what has been dubbed a David and Golliath affair at Sinyore Stadium in Chidobe on Sunday.

Indlovu are the champions of Monde League and have a bulk of former Division One players who are well known to cause problems in any game provided their presence. 

Ricardo Ncube, who is a goalkeeper and one of the players in the running for the keeper of the tournament and player of the tournament, once featured for Hwange Football Club as a reserve keeper to the teams first choice.

By the time, Hwange was in the First Division and they have since clinched the championship and have been promoted to the elite Premier League.

His skills as a goal minder were evidenced last weekend when they knocked Chidobe Kachecheti Champions, Dragons out of the cup through a penalty shoot out.

Ricardo saved the first three penalties and converted the winner to send Indlovu to the finals.

They also have Thabani Moyo who has been brilliant throughout the competition, often backed by Adrian Nyoni and their top challenger Bongani Ndlovu who was the league top scorer in the just ended Mosi League with twenty eight goals.

For them to lift the trophy ,they will have to guard against Lupinyo Bullets marauding strikers Tyrol Ncube and Brightman Dube who were top joint scorers in the championship build-up games. 

Lupinyo also have Mthokozisi Sibanda to pin their hopes on as they march towards their first ever trophy since their formation ten years ago.

Meanwhile Dragons and Masters will meet in a third place play off before the finals.

The Championship cup is sponsored to the tune of US$500 and only top four teams from the two leagues Chika and Mosi qualified. 

lt is expected to expand to other leagues like Mvuthu Football League and Jambezi Football League next season.

There will be medals for the top three teams and a trophy for the winners.

Awards for the player of the tournament, goalkeeper of the game, most disciplined player, top scorer and the coach of the season will also be presented.

The cup is sponsored by Victoria Falls Veterinary Service, Agricultural Zone and Chidobe Business Complex.

 

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Hwange conservationists tackle poaching through sport

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BY TICHAONA MATARUSE 

Wildlife conservation organisations, Wild and Free Foundation (WWT) and Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) have partnered to sponsor a social soccer tournament aimed at protecting wildlife through sport and economic opportunities to reduce wildlife crimes. 

Rhino Cup Championship League RCCL-Zim Iganyana Division features both senior and junior teams and its goal is to empower and uplift young people,  creating an environment where endangered species like painted dogs and other wildlife can thrive.

The RCCL Zimbabwe – Iganyana Division supports 20 male and four female community-based teams from communities adjacent to Hwange National Park, directly impacting wildlife and people welfare in the area. 

Teams are drawn from communities adjacent to the Hwange National Park such as Chezhou, Dete, Dingani, Mabale and Makwandara among others.

They have been christened with wildlife names as a sign of appreciation of the importance of wildlife and conservation.

The juniors’ league was introduced in August and teams include Sables Jnrs, Eagle Jnrs, Shumba stars Jnrs, Sparrows, Honey Badgers, Rock Rabbits, Young Sables Academy, Zebras and Wild Warthogs.

Zebras from Chezhou were crowned 2022 after outclassing Mpalanyana 5-1 in the final match to finish the season with 93 points from 38 matches.

In the juniors league, Shumba and Young Stables Academy are favourites to win the title as both are tied on 16 points.

The league ends this weekend.

Zim Iganyana Division chief executive Ndodana Masuku implored clubs to invest in junior policy to nurture talent.

“We have 20 teams in the senior category and our wish is for each team to have juniors within its structures. Every organisation should have a foundation and in this case juniors are a foundation of the club,” Masuku told VicFallsLive 

The league has attracted the attention of the private sector with Sports Zone Pvt Ltd, a Bulawayo based organisation sponsoring the juniors’ league with prizes for the monthly top goal-scorer, goalkeeper of the month award and junior coach of the month accolades.

“We have awards for top goal scorer and goalkeeper of the year courtesy of Sports Zone. Also there are medals and cups for the championship. ” said Masuku.

Meanwhile, Masuku urged communities to play a part in wildlife conservation and serve endangered species.

His sentiments come in the wake of concerns about an increase in illegal hunting in communities near Hwange National Park.

“Together we can give poaching a red card and create an environment where the rhinos, painted dogs and the rest of the wildlife can thrive. 

“To the clubs and our communities, I urge you to reciprocate our wildlife sponsored league by doing more conservation activities within your communities to serve our wildlife especially the endangered species,” said Masuku.

RCCL also has presence in Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania with positive results such as reduced rhino poaching, boredom, idleness, and poverty.

 

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