ZIMUTO Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) congregation are this year’s national winners of the Nyaningwe Supermarket/RCZ Sungano yaVarume soccer tournament played at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo on Saturday. The Masvingo team lifted the coveted trophy after dismissing the Harare’s Warren Park/DZ congregation 4-3 in the dreaded penalty shootout after the two teams shared the spoils nil- all in regular time in an exciting match.
The tournament which was running under the theme, ‘ Sports Evangelism’ lived up to expectations as both teams showed signs of brilliance. The Christian soccer fiesta is in its second year running with the inaugural edition played last year at the same venue. All sixteen teams which were divided into four groups displayed flashes of brilliance.
In group A Zimuto won with six points, the same as Chiredzi but the latter failed to qualify for the semis due to inferior goal difference. The group had Zimuto,Chiredzi, Nyika and Chivu. In group B there was the eventual loosing finalists Warren Park-DZ ,Mabvuku, Nkulumane and Mkoba. Group C had KweKwe,Rujeko, Uzhe and visiting South Africa while in Group D, there was Morgenster,Gutu, Masvingo and Chitungwiza. The tourney produced a major shocker when Nyika Congregation which had earlier on turned to be the whipping boys in Group A woke up from their deep slumber and posted a convincing victory against the group’s favourites Chiredzi. Led by the enterprising Tawanda Chidanya who scored four goals past their opponents,Nyika surprised many when they handed the otherwise determined side their heaviest defeat. Nyika won the match 5-1 with Chinyanda voted the man of the match and subsequently won the golden boot award together with the other three. Chamanda was a marvel to watch with his mazy runs which reminded fans of the former Tanganda and Dynamos striker Joseph ‘Shabba’ Takaringofa. He took light of the Chiredzi defence that he was dribbled and scoring at will but unfortunately the team from Bikita failed to progress from the group stages. They collected only three points from the possible nine.
For their sweat, Zimuto won $2000, a trophy and golden medals while loosing finalists, Warren Park-DZ got $1000 and silver medals with the second runners up getting $ 400 plus bronze medals. Player of the tournament, Zimuto’s Peacemaker Chitova walked away with $100,best goal keeper, Oliver Jena of Warren Park-DZ got $100 and top goal scorers, David Dokotera of Chiredzi, Tawanda Chindanya of Nyika and Munyaradzi Majucha of Morgenster congregation also got $100 each. Gracing the tournament were Reformed Church University Vice Chancellor Professor Wiseman Magwa,RCZ moderator Doctor Reverend Rangarirai Rutoro, Masvingo Mayor Alderman Femius Chakabuda.