By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Ambitious Northern Region Soccer League side, Golden Eagles stormed into the Axis Solutions Super 8 Cup final after beating Trojan Stars 1-0 at Ellis Robins yesterday.
Defender Raymond Uchena grabbed the all-important goal after 20 minutes to set up a mouthwatering final against Shamva-based league rivals, Simba Bhora later this year.
Simba Bhora needed a penalty shootout to beat Herentals Under-20 at Morris Depot on Saturday to book a place in the final of the inaugural knockout competition.
It was a thoroughly deserved win for Gondo Harishaye, who could have won by a bigger margin if their players had been prolific in front of goal.
Eagles coach Gilbert Mushangazhike is expecting nothing short of victory in the final.
“No one can predict the future, but we have to train hard and focus on our game and try to beat Simba Bhora in the final. For me, it almost doesn’t count, so we have to win it,” he said.
“Football is not being played in the field only, there are people behind what we are doing, that is the chairman and the board. We appreciate the resources they are giving us and this is helping us to perform the way we are.”
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It was always going to be a difficult task for Bindura-based Trojan to upstage their much-fancied opponents away from home.
Eagles had the first opportunity after Claude Mapoka’s looping header early in the match was tipped over by Alex Bakacheza.
About halfway through the first half, Uchena had the simplest task to tap in a Tatenda Hapazari square ball in the box.
After that, it was Eagles who controlled the match to earn a place in the final.
“Bad result, but very good performance I was happy with the way the youngsters played. We had about four days only working with them, but I am happy that we created so many chances,” said coach Ralph Kawondera, who took over the Trojan Stars hot seat last week.
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