DAIRIBORD Zimbabwe successfully defended the Standard Chartered 2017 Road to Anfield national title, when they edged Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Limited (Stanchart), in an exciting final match in Harare on Saturday.BY HENRY MHARA
Road to Anfield is an international 5-a- side football tournament offering fans a lifetime opportunity to travel to English Premiership giants Liverpool.
Abel Gwatidzo’s screamer was all the milk and dairy products producers needed to defend the title they won in 2015, when the tournament was last played locally.
They will now proceed to the regional finals to be held in Botswana on March 18, where they will compete with the hosts and a team from Zambia, with the champion winning a ticket to represent the region at the Standard Chartered international trophy finals at Liverpool’s famous Anfield Stadium on May 21.
Team captain Terrance Kanjanda, one of the only two survivors from the squad that travelled to Zambia and lost agonisingly in the final, believes that painful experience from the previous edition, would motivate them to get the ticket to London.
“We have been given another lifetime opportunity to travel to Europe, and we will not miss it this time around. It was very painful for all of us the last time, and we cried, but I’m sure we will shed tears of joy come March 18.
We now know what is needed to win at that stage and I believe the current squad is more stronger than the one we had previously,” Kanjanda said.
Dairibord Zimbabwe, whose team comprised Gwatidzo, Kanjanda, Danger Fourpence, Bernard Bvumbwe, goalkeeper Fungai Burira, Tinashe Kandare and Tatenda Sharara, showed class throughout the tournament on Saturday, coming out unscathed in the group stages where they won three out of three, before beating OK Zimbabwe 3-0 in the quarterfinals.
They easily brushed aside Lyons Zimbabwe by the same scoreline in the semis on their way to clinching the title.
Stanchart Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand and Marketing, Lillian Hapanyengwi said the tournament was a huge success
“It was a successful tournament. It started off raining in the morning, and the teams showed a lot of courage to play in the rain for over two hours. This tournament is great for client engagement, and I am glad we got some business bookings and new business with clients who came to support. There are a lot of inquiries that came through about our products which is great,” Hapanyengwi said