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The new 'Father' of Zim Football 23/06/04
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha has been hailed as the 'Father of Zimbabwean football' after he turned in another typically demanding performance against Algeria on the weekend.

The Castle Premiership Player of the Year and the Players' Player of the Year winner for 2003/4 season played for his national team in his country for the first time on Sunday in front of a capacity crowd of 55 000 at the National Stadium in Harare.

The 21-year old Kaizer Chiefs midfielder only started playing for his country during the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia, but has not played again for the Warriors until Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Algeria, which was his homecoming match in front of his country-men.

He had won the hearts of his compatriots during the Africa Nations and it was not surprising that all the tickets were sold out on Sunday, even though the match was been shown throughout Zimbabwe on national television.

The match between Zimbabwe and Algeria end in a 1-1 draw with Nengomashe playing like he always does at Amakhosi - with confidence and winning all the tackles that came his way.

Many people in his country had not seem him play and were still thinking that his performance in Tunisia was a once-off.

They were saying that he was still too young to play for the national team and they were wondering why he was voted the best player in South Africa.

There were reports in Zimbabwe that the Castle Premiership in South Africa was inferior to the one in Zimbabwe because a player who had only played three times for his national team had been chosen as the PSL's Player of the Season.

But with the jury out in Zimbabwe to judge him, the 'General' lived up to his nickname, for he was the 'General' in that match.

After Sunday's match, Nengomashe was given a new name from his compatriots, who acknowledged him every time that the young player got the ball.

They would call 'Father, Father', for they say that he is the Father of a new football era in the country.

The Father's homecoming made the country forget all their problems for once as everyone was talking of the wonder boy from Amakhosi as they were going to work on Monday morning - no one was talking about Euro 2004 championships, which were banned from the national TV in the football-mad country.

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