Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Ngezi clinch PSL title

by Staff reporter
12 Nov 2023 at 11:43hrs | Views
THERE was ecstasy, euphoria and then tears. Tears of joy!

Baobab Stadium almost crashed. Luckily the structure is firm enough. It could have collapsed.
Referee Patrick Kalota's final whistle was never going to be ordinary. It signified much more than just the end of a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League. It signified history. It signified a lifetime achievement.
Football is a beautiful game. And beauty underlined yesterday's occasion. Ngezi Platinum Stars needed to pick up three points in their game against Simba Bhora at Baobab to wrap up the championship with two games to spare. Their fans packed the 5 000-seater arena with so much anticipation. Some of them, including Danai Chikara travelled all the way from Mamina.
Others like Prince Chinowaita travelled from Hurungwe just to see their boy, Tino Murasiranwa making history. But it was never going to be delivered on a silver platter. Ngezi Platinum Stars trailed to a Tinashe Balakasi opener in the first stanza. The stadium resembled a funeral wake, at least for 65 minutes.
The party looked very much on the ice. But once defender Kudzi Chigwida drew level with a re-taken penalty, hope was restored especially with news filtering in that second-placed Manica Diamonds were level with relegated Cranborne Bullets at the National Sports Stadium. But they had to be sure.
They had to score. And the goal came right at the death with the league's top scorer Takunda Benhura sliding a pass from substitute Claude Mapoka. With Kalota sounding the whistle, coach Takesure Chiragwi broke down.
It was understandable. The young gaffer had just delivered what Tonderai Ndiraya, Erol Akbay and Benjani Mwaruwari had failed to do. And the house was down. Fans scaled the perimeter fence and celebrated wildly on the turf. The players popped champagne. Some shed tears. They were the favourites to clinch the title. But it felt real now.
"It's for the community, this Ngezi community. I am very happy to have led this impressive group to the championship. We wanted it more and we deserve it. I am very excited," exclaimed captain Qadr Amini.
The utility man is the only member of this squad to have tasted Premiership glory before. He won it with Gunners back in 2009.
"But this one is special. This is a rural team and we have been trying all along to win it. We have been second before and it has been frustrating."
Goalkeeper Nelson Chadya, who is the longest-serving member saluted the community.
"I am overwhelmed. Let me thank everyone associated with this team. The community has been amazing. The feeling is incredible."

Source - sundaymail