HARARE – An intriguing Uhuru Cup final was abandoned in the second half due to bad lighting at the National Sports Stadium yesterday with Dynamos in the lead.
Referee Pedzisai Chadya halted the match in the 64th minute following a power outage. ZIFA communications manager Xolisani Gwesela disclosed that a meeting to decide the fate of the match would be held in the capital this afternoon.
The match had kicked off well after 4pm and the floodlights had to be switched on early in the second half.
However, a unexpected power cut forced Chadya to end the match.
Electricity was only restored about half an hour later but match commissioner Lovemore Marange had already confirmed the cancellation of the match.
“The match is cancelled due to bad lighting. It is the referee’s discretion whether to continue or call off a match in these circumstances, and in this case he saw it fit to call off the match,” said Marange. Thousands of fans, mainly DeMbare supporters, remained in the ground well after the cancellation as they hoped the game would resume.
When the lights returned at around 6:30pm, some fans who had already made their way out of the giant stadium returned hoping a plan would be worked out for the game to resume.
However, it wasn’t to be.
Meanwhile, DeMbare’s man of the moment Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo had put his side into the lead on 15 minutes of play when he capitalised on some sloppy marking by the FC Platinum back-line to fire home a neat goal.
The goal sparked wild celebrations from the bumper crowd, which was predominantly DeMbare, and when FC Platinum’s talismanic link-man Thabani Kamusoko was stretchered off the field early in the second half, the Harare side seemed well poised for their second silverware of the season.
Although the pitch was unplayable due to the heavy rains that pounded most parts of Harare on Friday as well as yesterday, the two tried their best, under the circumstances, to give the bumper crowd a cheer during the Independence Day celebrations.
Chitiyo was dangerous each time he got possession while utility player Godknows Murwira further endeared himself with the DeMbare faithful with another solid performance.
Murwira, who played on the right attacking wing, has played three different positions inside a week.
The youngster, who is proving to be DeMbare’s find of the season, played right-back against Flame Lily last Sunday and slotted perfectly in central midfield when the league champions beat ZPC in the Uhuru Cup semi-final last Wednesday.
Norman Mapeza’s FC Platinum also displayed their usual neat passing game although they lacked the killer instinct in the final third.
Unheralded Philimon Mudena had a decent game on the left channel, but the usually dependable Wisdom Mutasa had a rather subdued game. Mapeza’s usual front-line trio of Donald Ngoma, Walter Musona and Brian Muzondiwa missed the game through injuries.
Uhuru Cup final quotes
David “Yogi” Mandigora, Dynamos coach: “The game was going on very well but it’s unfortunate the lights went off before the end. I cannot say we were safe with that one-goal advantage.
“ But we were pushing for a second goal to kill off the match.”
Norman Mapeza, FC Platinum coach: “I don’t know what would have happened if we had played the remaining minutes, only God knows if we were going to come back. All I can say is we gave them a soft goal. We will, however, wait to hear from the authorities on what will happen next, but again I can’t say we will come back although we will always give it our best shot.”
Dynamos: T. Mukuruva, O. Mwerahari, A. Mbara, E. Muroiwa, S. Linyama, S. Alimenda, W. Mukanga, G. Murwira, M. Mambare, R. Chitiyo, S. Nhivi.
FC Platinum: F. Tizayi, R. Muduviwa, K. Moyo, A. Katebe, P. Mudena, A. Gahadzikwa, T. Kamusoko (W. Kamudyariwa, W. Mutasa, S. Shoko, T. Rukanda, E. Mandiranga. Sunday Mail