THE Young Warriors were beaten 2-1 in a friendly away to Morocco as, back home, FC Platinum edged Harare City in a penalty shootout to lift the Chibuku Cup in circumstances described as daylight robbery by their rivals.
Coach Callisto Pasuwa took the Young Warriors to Morocco as efforts continue to rebuild the national side as well as prepare for the Under-23 African Championships qualifiers and the All-Africa Games qualifiers.
For their part, Morocco needed a morale boost after they were stripped of the 2015 African Cup of Nations hosting rights and also kicked out of the tournament by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Morocco were punished after refusing to commit to the scheduled dates early next year due to fears over Ebola with CAF roping in Equatorial Guinea to host the tournament on the planned dates of January 17-February 8, 2015.
In Sunday’s friendly, Zimbabwe took the lead through Macauley Bonne who plays for English League One side Colchester United but Oussama Assaidi, a Liverpool player currently loaned to Stoke City, scored twice to snatch the game for the Atlas Lions.
FC Platinum beat City to win Chibuku Cup
NORMAN Mapeza’s FC Platinum beat Harare City Sunday to win the Chibuku Cup final at Mandava in Zvishavane.
City were left fuming however, with coach Masimba Dinyero saying his side had been brutally robbed of deserved silverware.
City had led 1-0 and were getting ready to celebrate when FC Platinum scored to equalise and force a penalty shootout.
Dinyero and his players claimed the FC Platinum equaliser never crossed the goal-line adding that the goal was also scored well after regulation time.
City took the lead in the 37th minute through forward Talent Chawapiwa who was set up by Fransico Zvekumbawire and fired home a screamer that the Platinum goal-keeper never saw.
But seconds away from the end with City getting ready to celebrate, FC Platinum were awarded a free kick and they massed players in the goal-mouth.
Thabani Kamusoko flighted the ball into the confusion and, from the resultant goalmouth melee Walter Musona got the crucial equaliser, giving FC Platinum a lifeline.
Referee Norman Matemera could not tell, from where he stood, whether the ball had crossed the line and looked to his assistant Abraham Manda.Advertisement
Manda took what appeared to be a lifetime making up his mind before indicating it was a goal, a decision that sent the home fans into delirium while enraging the visitors.
In the penalty shootout Musona, Kelvin Moyo and right-back Raphael Muduviwa converted for FC Platinum to win 3-1.
Osborne Mukuradare, Raymond Uchena, goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupane-dengu failed from the spot for the visitors whose only successful conversion came from Timire Mamvura.
Dinyero was furious after the game.
“This is daylight robbery. To say the honest truth, we were robbed. These referees are killing the game,” said the City coach.
“The fourth official had indicated four minutes of injury time and when the four minutes elapsed, Platinum were handed a free-kick from nowhere and they equalised.
“We could have won the game but my players were dejected. Their spirit was killed.”
His opposite number Mapeza said: “God was on our side.
“We worked hard for this. When I came to Platinum I did not promise anything and I am still moving on. I am not yet satisfied and I still want more and now my target is the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
“I am happy to have won the trophy and I dedicate it to the people who have been supportive to me and I will not mention their names.
“We practised penalties (Saturday) and the pitch was not fine for the final. I said it but the powers who govern football thought otherwise. I wanted a neutral venue.”
In addition to a ticket to represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup next year, FC Platinum will also get the $75,000 winners cheque while City should find some consolation in the $50,000 prize for being the losing finalists.