All smiles for happy people

footballHARARE - Premiership rookies Lengthens, playing with 10 men, went to the winners podium for the first time after lifting their first silverware in the topflight league on a sun drenched afternoon of nail-biting tension.

The emergency wards of hospitals all over Harare were on high alert as Lengthens, playing with 10 men after one of their key players, Patrick Makuwaza, was given his marching orders by the referee in the first half for a vicious tackle on a Shooting Stars player during the BancABCSup8r knock out cup final, came close to giving their fanatical followers cardiac arrest.

But, thankfully, the high drama at Rufaro on Saturday ended with The Happy People, as Lengthens are affectionately known by their passionate fans, beating Shooting Stars 2-1 in extra time to lift their first ever silverware in the topflight league.

The two teams had ended regulation time deadlocked at 1-1 and had to be separated after two hours of football action. As long shadows of tired figures became evident on the pitch as the sun set on the horizon while the teams remained tied, it was apparent the match would spill into extra time.

Lengthens were the first to get out of the blocks with a fine strike by Francis Mandiwanzira after only six minutes, but Shooting Stars midfielder Thomas Magorimbo equalised moments later for the match to spill into extra time.

And it needed Artwell Nyamhiwa to kill off the match in 20 minutes of extra time and help Lengthens win the coveted BancABCSup8r knock out cup.

The closest The Happy People came to winning their first silverware in the elite league was last season when they reached the final of the same tournament only to lose 1-2 to cup kings CAPS United in controversial circumstances. Lengthens felt hard done by Bulawayo referee Thabani Mkanjo after he denied them a genuine penalty. But every dog has his day and Saturday was their day.

And, the reaction to their historic feat saw players dancing for hours on the pitch while Shooting Stars players slumped to the turf, disappointed at coming second best.

Post published in: Football

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *