By Nigel Matongorere
Tongaat Hulett have confirmed that they will bankroll Triangle United’s African Confederation Cup campaign next year after the club won the Chibuku Super Cup on Saturday.
The Sugar Sugar Boys won their second major silverware in the top flight following a deserved 2-0 win over Harare City at Gibbo Stadium.
In front of a packed home crowd, Triangle prevailed courtesy of second half goals from captain Ralph Kawondera and winger Phenias Bamusi to end City’s strangle hold on the trophy.
Winning Zimbabwe’s major knockout tournament comes with a ticket to represent the country in the continental second tier inter-club competition.
Zimbabwe did not have a representative in the last Confederation Cup tournament and the upcoming transitional edition after Harare City decided against participation.
Tongaat Hulett corporate affairs and communications manager Adelaide Chikunguru, who is also the Triangle president, said the team had done them proud and deserved to showcase their talents on the continental stage.
“The plans are to take the team into Africa,” Chikunguru said.
“They have represented the Tongaat Hulett brand very well and Tongaat being a regional company, we want to provide our players a chance to play continental football.
Most of the guys in the team are from the Lowveld; our best player Lameck Nhamo is from Triangle and this gives our community a great sense of pride.
“It will be great for the club to play in such big tournaments like the Confederation Cup.”
On winning the Chibuku Super Cup, the Triangle boss said: “We are elated and the Sugar Sugar Boys have made us very proud.
“The match was not easy but at the end, the better team won. I would like to congratulate Harare City because they put a good fight to come in second place. I would like to thank Delta Beverages and in particular Chibuku Super for bringing the final down here.”
The Sugar Sugar Boys’ chairperson Lovemore Matikinyidze was also elated by the performance by his side after adding the Chibuku Super Cup to the OneWallet trophy they won in 2014.
“We are very happy with the win; this was one of our targets this season,” Matikinyidze said.
The Sugar Sugar Boys are currently in fourth place on the log with two games to go and enjoy a five-point lead over fifth-placed CAPS United.
Harare City had complained why the final had been hosted at Gibbo, the Triangle home ground, instead of a neutral venue.
“There is a precedent already; the cup final has been played at Mandava Stadium, it was played at the National Sports Stadium in Harare and the other year, it went to Baobab Stadium,” Matikinyidze said.
“Last year, I was there at Rufaro Stadium when Harare City beat How Mine to win the cup, maybe they are forgetting about that.”
Speaking after the match, Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro said they were looking forward to the challenge which comes with continental club football.
Mangwiro became the first coach to win the Chibuku Super Cup twice with two different teams in this modern era after previously guiding Harare City to the 2015 title.
“Everyone would like to play in Africa. For me, I had a chance to lead the team in continental football when I was at Monomotapa and I did the same with Harare City,” he said.
“Unfortunately with Harare City, we could not clear the first huddle; we lost in the preliminary stages. So we have the ample time between now and to when the competition starts to assemble a formidable team and hope that we will be able to make an impression.” DailyNews