Unfancied Lupopo win Vodacom Challenge
Unfancied Lupopo win Vodacom Challenge

Posted in News on Jul 13, 2002.

DRC side FC Lupopo came to SA as unknown quantity but left in a blaze of glory.

In their short stay they beat local giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs to take the kudu horn silver trophy to foreign soil for the first time in the history of the Vodacom Challenge competition.

The tough-tackling Lupopo side, who beat Pirates on penalties in the semifinals last week, managed this time to win in regulation time as they beat Chiefs 1-0 in a fiercely contested final at a packed-to-capacity Absa Park in Durban.

Chiefs were stunned just after the 15th minute mark when the Congolese took a shock lead as Chiefs were punished for slack defending.

A brilliant move down the left resulted in Biku Biabo laying the ball to a totally unmarked Karamba Musasa, who calmly slotted the ball between the legs of a diving Rowen Fernandez. Musasa was instrumental in his side's 4-3 penalty win against Pirates in the semifinals, where he scored the opening goal.

It was an anti-climax for the crowd when international referee Lim Kim Chong blew the final whistle to hand the trophy to the Congolese. The visitors did not have anyone to share their joy with as the stadium was packed with Chiefs and Pirates supporters.

But that did not stop the celebrations as the Congolese went about forming a celebratory circle.

The Chiefs players - who were not keen on swapping jerseys with the opposition - and supporters looked on in disbelief but the announcer - through the stadium loud speakers - confirmed that it was not a dream as he called on Kotoko, who lost the third place battle with Pirates to come and collect their medals. Pirates received bronze and silver went to Chiefs while Lupopo were the last to ascend the stand for their gold.


Chiefs made three changes to the side that beat Asante Kotoko 2-1 in the semifinals. Rowen Fernandez, who was impressive at training, was in goals ahead of regular stopper Brian Baloyi. The captan's armband went to defender Cyril Nzama.

Tenashe Mangomasha, a second half substitute in the semis, played as an anchorman and Shaun Permall also made the starting 11 to partner Justice Sithole in attack.

Sithole missed a glorious opportunity after Permall headed the ball into his path. The Chiefs Youth Academy graduate fired high over, much to the disapproval of the crowd and his coach.

Another chance went begging for Chiefs when Pule played the ball through to Zwane a minute from the break. His powerful shot, however, was saved by Ekutu.

Chiefs made a triple substitution with Thabo Mooki on for Zwane, Kelvin Mushangazhike for Matshitse and Patrick Mbuthu for Sithole. Lupopo were happy to maintain the current status quo - if it's not broken don't fix it.

Permall missed a couple of chances and came close on 49 minutes following a good ball from Mangomasha, but his effort hit the crossbar.

Lupopo reserve keeper Mwamba Ilunga was sent off without kicking a ball after violently pushing Mushangazhike, who had badly tackled Biku Biabo. Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral had, within seconds, crossed over to the Lupopo bench to address the matter but the Mauritian referee was quick to issue a card.

The game almost deteriorated into a farce with the Congolese seemingly missing the ball and catching the man in their tackles, while the Chiefs players did not make matters easy for the referee as they appeared to fall into the trap of frustration. Pule got a yellow card on 54 minutes for hitting an opponent with the ball and a minute later Kayembe Muyaya got a yellow for a vicious tackle in Pule.

Permall missed another chance on 61 minutes following a fine corner from Fredericks. The former Ajax Cape Town striker positioned himself well and out jumped the Lupopo defence, only to see his header go well wide of the target.

Kenny Niemach was brought on 15 minutes before the end in place of Permall to try and prevent the kudu horns from heading out of South Africa for the first time since the start of the competition four years ago.

The arrival of Niemach gave Chiefs more bite up front. After having only been on the field for two minutes the dread-locked one was involved in a move that saw Chiefs miss by inches. A powerful cross from Mushangazhike was left by Niemach for an oncoming Pule but his shot - which took a deflection - hit the lower upright.

Chiefs, who displayed great fighting spirit and team effort, picked up their efforts in the dying minutes but it was too little too late.


FC Lupopo: Sukami Ekutu, Wagede Zobango, Lukuni Musampa, Buki Biabo, Tchani Mukinayi, Kosi Mwanza, Kayembe Muyaya, Nsimba Lusaku, Lusadisu Basisila, Mvula Mauro, Karamba Musasa.

Kaizer Chiefs: Rowen Fernandez, David Kannemeyer, Peter Matshitse, Gary Goldstone, Cyril Nzama, Tenashe Mangomasha, Jabu Pule, Stanton Fredericks, Arthur Zwane, Justice Sithole, Shaun Permall.

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