Gwanda date for COPA Coca-Cola finals


THE stage is now set for the annual National Association of Secondary Heads (NASH) – COPA Coca-Cola soccer tournament after the successful hosting of the provincial finals last week.
The national finals are slated for Gwanda on July 22 to 24.
Mashonaland West Province held its provincial finals last Friday at Rimuka 2 High School and Munyaradzi High School in Kadoma, for the boys Under-16 and girls Under-17 respectively.
Eighteen teams – nine for the boys and nine for the girls – battled it out for two slots on the national finals.
Eventually it was Chinhoyi High School (boys) and Vimbai High School (girls) who emerged winners from Mashonaland West Province.
There were three groups of three teams who played in a round-robin format. Competition was stiff as teams battled for supremacy.
Chinhoyi High were in Group C together with Sanyati Baptist High and Matoranhembe from Zvimba District.
The provincial champion won their first game 1-0 against Sanyati before hammering Matoranhembe 7-0 to emerge winners of the group.
Matoranhembe had edged Sanyati Baptist 1-0 before their heavy loss to Chinhoyi High.
In the semi-finals, Chinhoyi High met stiff resistance from Ngezi Barracks High School, who entered the semis as best runners-up.
The match ended goalless and was to be decided by penalties.
Two brilliant saves by Chinhoyi High goalie swung the pendulum in their favour and won 4-2 to secure a berth in the finals.
Nemakonde from the same town with Chinhoyi High, were in Group A with Kazangarare from Hurungwe District and Mahombekombe from Kariba District.
Nemakonde beat Mahombekombe 3-0 in the first group match.
Mahombekombe then settled for a 1-all draw with Kazangarare before Nemakonde edged Kazangarare 1-0 to proceed to the semis.
In the semis, Nemakonde beat hosts Rimuka 2 High School 1-0 to meet Chinhoyi High in the final.
It was a pulsating Chinhoyi derby featuring the two schools from the Mashonaland West capital.
The match got a few delays as players from Nemakonde argued Chinhoyi High had used players who were not vetted.
Players for both teams approached the game with caution and action swung from one goal to the other.
It was in the middle-of-the-park that Nemakonde were outwitted before Chinhoyi High flexed their muscles to score a second-half goal.
With the final whistle blown, Chinhoyi High students went wild with joy as they secured a ticket to Matabeleland South provincial capital Gwanda.
Elsewhere, Chemhanza High School proved to be the Mashonaland East soccer powerhouse for the boys Under-16.
The two-time national champions (2012 and 2013) are becoming a permanent feature at the finals.
Gotora High School won the girls’ sole ticket for the province.
In Harare Province, Churchill boys are the provincial champions while Mabelreign won the girls’ slot.
Rufaro High and Pamushana High will represent Masvingo Province in the girls’ and boys’ categories respectively.
In Matabeleland North, Sojini and Tohwe represent the province in the girls’ and boys’ sections respectively.


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