ZIMBABWE Defence Forces Select goalkeeper, Lennon Gonese, starred in between the posts albeit in a losing cause to their Malawian counterparts in this ZDF Cup final at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The match was put together to cap the commemorations of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day. And the match was played in a friendly manner between the two teams with no caution, verbal or yellow card, being issued by referee Patrick Kalota.
The hosts needed a hero to cheer the big crowd despite the defeat and they found him in Gonese.
The 24-year-old, who plays for Black Rhinos, wooed the fans with his top-notch footwork and elasticity.
He completed the most dribbles in the match and even the Malawi Defence Force coach Nicholas Mhango couldn’t help but praise the Zimbabwean. Of course, the visitors managed to win the match thanks to a well-worked goal by Gastin Simkonga, 13 minutes before time.
“He is an impressive young goalkeeper whose charisma is beyond explanation.
“His footwork is one of his greatest strengths and overall he is a very good goalkeeper,” said Mhango of Gonese.
“It was a very good match and very competitive.
“In the first half, Zimbabwe were in total control of the game but my defence remained resolute to keep them at bay.” Gonese, who was mobbed by fans at the sound of the final whistle, said he enjoyed every moment of the match.
“This is my debut season in the top-flight. I am enjoying everything and my confidence is growing with each passing match,” he said.
“We had to make the people happy with the manner we were playing.
“But I am disappointed to have failed to win the trophy on a day we are celebrating as the ZDF”.