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Coaches, Kelvin Kaindu and Philani Ncube have both taken charge at How Mine, but their similarities begin and end there. While KK is still around at the club, Beefy has moved on and is now earning his keep at Harare City.
When the two tacticians squared off for the third time last Saturday at Rufaro in a season-ending match as they trod a familiar path following their recent encounter in the Chibuku Super Cup final which the municipality outfit prevailed 3-1 over the gold miners, a lot was at stake in this fixture; especially for the hosts. As that rivalry was renewed and played out again at Rufaro, it simply conjured memories of the time the duo traded barbs in the build-up to that Cup final as they traded and hurled slurs at each other.
While KK badly wanted the moolah that came with the rich pickings of a triumphant Chibuku outing, Beefy in this league match dearly wanted all three prized points and fervently prayed that the other result elsewhere favoured them and went his team’s way.
Sadly, it was not to be as the most successful club in the Chibuku Cup, even after overcoming their nemesis 1-0 on the day, saw the result not being good enough to preserve their Premiership status — their city bothers from Bulawayo rendering the capital side’s victory valueless as they clobbered Bantu Rovers 5-0 in their own must-win game.
Going into the match, Harare City sat third from the foot of the table and in the precarious danger of the drop zone, while How Mine were firmly safe on seventh. And the dark cloud that menacingly hovered above the Sunshine Boys did not dissipate as they were eventually relegated, their final match win counting for a precious little.
Yet while How Mine might have not been the Grim Reaper to hammer the final nail into Harare City’s coffin and play the undertaker as well, their coach is, nonetheless, blowing a dirge from his own trumpet — never mind that in three meetings this season they triumphed in only one (2-1 at home) and lost the other two.
“I am happy that Harare City have gone down because they don’t play football, I am telling you. Let them stay in Division One . . . let them go and play in CAF (Confederation Cup) where they will learn a lesson . . . they will be taught how football is played,” Kaindu, as quoted by The Sunday Mail, pinched and scoffed at their washed-up opponents.
Now, that is rubbing it in!
As a sub-plot to the bigger scene of the combat on the park, this was perhaps also a battle of two personalities that sharply contrast — one a maverick who has been accused of dabbling in juju and the other an introvert who is a self-anointed devout Christian. Both coaches have, however, pronounced that they hold nothing against the other even as they recently engaged in verbal gymnastics that famously played out this season.
Although Kaindu failed to get his revenge for the abortive Chibuku dream and derive some form of cold comfort by condemning his counterpart to the unfashionable world of Division One football by his own making, he still affords to gloat. Beefy might have added insult to KK’s Cup loss injury last Saturday, but their demotion will certainly hurt deeper and Harare City’s bragging rights will echo inaudibly from the second-tier league.
So, it is Kaindu who has the laugh on Ncube and will be at it hard, the longest and the loudest.
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