FC Platinum stormed into the Chibuku Super Cup final after beating determined Black Rhinos courtesy of a solitary Walter Musona strike at Rufaro yesterday.
BY Brian Nkiwane
Musona directed home a Raphael Muduviwa pinpoint cross in the 78th minute to book a final berth for the platinum miners.
FC Platinum will know their opponents in the final after this afternoon’s encounter pitting troubled Bulawayo side Highlanders and Sunshine City Boys Harare City, who come face to face at Rufaro.
The move that brought the only goal of the match was started by Zambian import Obrey Chirwa, who after getting a short pass from Gift Bello, switched the ball diagonally, from the left flank to the right having spotted an unmarked Muduviwa who responded with a pin-point cross that Black Rhinos goalkeeper Samuel Mafukidze failed to deal with, only for Musona to direct it home.
Speaking after the match, an excited Mapeza who beat Harare City in the league at the same venue last weekend, said he was very happy to have guided the team into the finals of the Chibuku Super Cup after just two months at the club.
“I spoke to the boys before the match and told them it could be achieved. I told them this is a cup semi-final therefore the tensions will be high so they had to be prepared. The team has been in many cup finals, but this result is good for me as a coach who has just arrived,” Mapeza said.
A dejected Jostein Mathuthu believes the match was a tale of two halves.
“They had their own half which was the first half and we had our own half which was the second half. The only difference is we failed to kill our chances but they managed to make use of one chance and we are out. It is however a bitter pill to swallow bowing out of a cup like this one after conceding a silly goal which the goalkeeper should have dealt with. He was supposed to have come out to collect the ball before the striker pounced on it. However, considering our position on the log, we are happy to have pushed this far, now it gives us time to concentrate on the league to survive relegation,” Mathuthu said.
The match had started as a well-balanced affair with both teams taking a cautious approach. The first shot on target came after seven minutes from a Black Rhinos corner kick while FC Platinum had their first attempt at goal right in the middle of the second half. Rhinos had a couple of chances to take the lead but striker Nesbert Padzarondora and Lot Chiwunga took turns to fluff chances that came their way.
The introduction of Allan Gahadzikwa just after the breather and Donald Ngoma in the 65th minute added fire power upfront for Mapeza’s boys leading to the winner in the 78th minute.
Mapeza said he was ready for the winner from the other semifinal.
“FC Platinum will always be ready for any team that will win between Highlanders and Harare City. We are in the final, so we have to play whoever wins,” Mapeza said.