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THE 2014 COPA Coca Cola National Finals slated for July 18 are bound to be exciting following the injection of new blood into the tournament. In the Midlands Province Gato Secondary School from Shurugwi District will represent the girls’ side while Cheziya High School from Gokwe South will represent the boys. This is the first time in the history of both schools that the Under-16 boys and 17-and-under girls have participated in the provincial finals and will take part in the national finals.

“This year’s provincials were very interesting and exciting. We had a lot of new teams participating. They managed to defeat the old-time powerhouses in the district qualifiers,” Eunias Zhou, the NASH head in charge of football in the province, said.

A total of 16 teams had qualified for the provincial finals.

However, only 15 teams participated as the girls’ team from Mavanga Secondary School in Gokwe North were disqualified as they did not have football boots.

“We are thrilled and we are confident that we will win the national finals. My boys are very resilient,” Noah Lunga, the coach of Cheziya High School said.

Cheziya had to sweat it off with 10 players throughout the tournament as four of their players were disqualified. The Gato girls powered to a 5-4 win in the penalty shoot-out against Mabika Secondary School.

“We have to work extra hard because we will be playing against competitive teams,” Gato assistant coach, Caesar Mapasure, said.

Source : The Herald