Home » General » Zimbabwe: Friendly Academy Lifts Nottingham Cup

FRIENDLY ACADEMY'S Under-18 team did the country proud after lifting the 2016 New Balance Nottingham International Cup, beating Canadian side CN Strikers 7-6 in a penalty shootout in Nottingham, England on Friday.

The two teams had played out a 2-2 draw in regulation time before the local academy, which is based in Harare's high-density surburb of Kuwadzana, emerged the victors courtesy of goalkeeper Panashe Nyabunga's heroics in-between the posts.

It was a consolation for the institution after their Under-16 team was denied UK visas to compete in the prestigious Youdan Trophy which commences tomorrow in Sheffield.

The Under-16s had been drawn to play English sides Newcastle United, Charlton Athletic and Seattle Saunders for the United States of America in Group 2 of the tournament.

Friendly Academy co-director Richard Solobala was elated at the latest achievement by the institution's Under-18 team.

"I am happy that Friendly Academy is being torch bearers of the country and this is a first of its kind. I am sure this is the beginning of good things, a good omen for our Warriors to bring the Africa Cup of Nations," he said in an interview with Standardsport.

"We are grateful to our partners, parents, sponsors who have helped us with the funding, both cash and kind, not forgetting the Zimbabwe community in the UK; they have been helpful and we owe them this success," Solobala added.

Friendly Academy side coached by former national Under-17 gaffer Partridge Muskwe won the tournament without tasting defeat.

Some of the players that shone during the tournament include Takudzwa Muskwe, who was the top goal scorer with four goals, one more than Hanley Mataruse who scored three while Tinotenda Magore, Munashe Kaseke, Matthew Jack, Ali Soma and Nyabunga also had a good tournament.

Source: Zimbabwe Standard.