FC Platinum … 0
Dynamos … 0
MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE IN ZVISHAVANE
FC Platinum could feel hard done by referee Mlindeli Ndebele for some arguably questionable officiating following a league draw with defending champions Dynamos at Mandava yesterday in a game they clearly dominated the visitors.
The stalemate however trim-med DeMbare’s lead from three to two points following ZPC Kariba’s win on the same day, but Kalisto Pasuwa’s charges are still primed to retain the league crown with seven games remaining.
FC Platinum dropped one place to seventh position.
The incident which stands out as the highlight of Ndebele’s blameworthy officiating was in the 25th minute when he turned down Platinum’s penalty appeal after Zambian forward Obrey Chirwa had been fouled inside the box by Augustine Mbara.
The incident invoked the memories of the reverse fixture where the miners lost by a narrow goal, that came via a contested penalty.
After the match, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza however declined to be drawn into commenting about the officiating.
“I will never complain about the officiating. Referees are human beings and they make mistakes.We cannot complain about the result but getting a point will help us in future,” said Mapeza.
Dynamos coach Kallisto Pasuwa conceded that his charges were second-best all afternoon and also lauded the tactical wits of his opposite number.
“We did not play in the first half. We were lifting high balls hence we were losing battles in the midfield. Norman is a good coach and his team is very compact. As for the title, we take each game as it comes,” said Pasuwa.
FC Platinum dominated the game from the onset with the champions failing to take a single shot at goal in the opening half.
Chirwa was a menace in the hosts’ final third, breaking with pace three times in the opening 10 minutes but his final delivery was not complementary.
After 15 minutes of action, Thabani Kamusoko failed to beat Mukandi with his free kick before Chirwa headed wide a few minutes later.
On 25 minutes, Ndebele shocked Mandava, including Dynamos supporters when he denied Chirwa a seemingly legitimate penalty call after the Zambian had been clipped inside the box by Mbara.
Donald Ngoma and Walter Musona had chances to put the miners into the lead but they were not clinical in front of goal.
On the stroke of half-time, Tawanda Muparati escaped a caution for a needless lunge on Raphael Muduviwa.
After an hour of action, Ndebele blew offside for Ngoma whom he adjudged to be in an offside position when the striker seemed to have timed his run to perfection.
Devon Chafa’s introduction in the second half stabilised the Dynamos midfield which was being outweighed by the effectiveness of the opposing midfield trio of Wisdom Mutasa, Tatenda Dzumbunu and Kamusoko.
Blessing Moyo attempted at goal by unleashing a powerful shot on 63 minutes, before he was also thwarted by Simon Shoko as he prepared to launch another cracker.
Substitute Washington Pakamisa also tried to beat FC Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari but in vain.
Mutasa had a few chances to grab the winner late into the game but his two efforts were wide.