By Sports Reporter
Dynamos 0-0 Highlanders (Highlanders won 5-3 on penalties)
HIGHLANDERS survived the sending off of defender Andrew Mbeba in the first half to edge rivals Dynamos on penalties and retain the Independence Cup at the newly built Mupfure Stadium in Mt Darwin on Tuesday.
Bosso had to play the later stages of the first half and the entire second period with 10 men after Mbeba was sent off after catching Nyasha Chintuli with a high footed challenge about 10 minutes before the break.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, he Bulawayo giants defended superbly to hang on for a goalless in regulation time before going to clinch the trophy during the decisive penalty shootouts.
Nigerian striker Emmanuel Paga, who had come on as second half substitute was the villain for Dembare as he was the only player to miss his spot kick.
The winners walked away with a US$35,000 winners cheque while the losing team DeMbare got US$25,000.
Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito was elated after guiding his team to a deserved victory against their biggest rivals.
“I would like to say congratulations to my players for being focused today. I think it was easy for us to win this Cup because it’s only one game, and it’s not about collecting points the whole season like in the league championship,” he said.
Dynamos coach Herbert Maruwa was disappointed after missing out on what would have been his first trophy at the club.
“We started very well and created chances in the first half. They were one man down and we failed to utilize on the numerical advantage . Our strikers were wasteful and they were hurrying their decisons,” Maruwa said.
“This Cup was very important for us especially because this was a big day for Zimbabweans and as a coach I would have been happy to have one trophy in the cabinet,” he added.