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FC Platinum in control

Acarnival atmosphere engulfed Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane yesterday as FC Platinum moved a step closer to grabbing their maiden Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title with a spirited 2-1 win over Ngezi Platinum.

BY TERRY MADYAUTA IN ZVISHAVANE
FC Platinum…… (1) 2
Ngezi Platinum…..(1) 1

Heading into the final round of fixtures in what has been a captivating title race, FC Platinum desperately needed maximum points to keep their two-point lead over Harare giants, Dynamos, who also accounted for the scalp of Bantu Rovers.

The Zvishavane-based platinum miners ended last year’s season as bridesmaids, but this year Mapeza’s men have their fate in their hands as they are left with one game away to Chapungu for them to clinch this year’s big gong and in the process break the Harare-Bulawayo stranglehold on the domestic crown.

“We did it and it’s not about me but it’s credit to everyone who has been supportive to us as a club,” said an elated Mapeza after the match.

“We played well and now we have to remain focused. This game was thrilling for us and I am proud that the boys showed composure by coming back in the second half with more desire to win.

“Our final task is against Chapungu and we hope to win and make our own piece of history.”

His counterpart, Tonderai Ndiraya was shattered as his men blew away their last chance of grabbing a maiden PSL title in only their second season in the topflight.

“We failed to defend corner kicks and all set pieces. It’s actually disappointing for a team that is in the title matrix,” he said.

“We could have won this game because we had a lot of chances and we missed them but I am proud of the boys for playing well until now. We had a brilliant season, and credit goes to hard work and support from different stakeholders.”

It was a battle of supremacy between the platinum miners, as they both needed maximum points in their quest to grab a maiden Premier Soccer League crown.

Ngezi Platinum were first to score on the seventh minute after a neat interplay that involved Terrence Dzvukamanja and Clive Augusto, who picked an unmarked Michael Charamba in the FC Platinum box, whose strike beat a diving Wallace Magalane.

Pure Platinum Play were not to be outdone on their own homeground as centreback Kelvin Moyo capitalised on a defensive fumble to tap in a cross from Ali Sadiki on the stroke of halftime.

The hosts piled pressure and it paid dividends on the 70th minute when Rodwell Chinyengetere nodded home a corner kick from Ali Sadiki, a blow from which Madamburo failed to recover.

FC Platinum almost added their advantage when Nqobizitha Masuku produced a defence-splitting pass that picked Chinyengetere just outside the box but his curling shot hit the cross bar, with Ngezi goal-minder Takabva Mawaya rooted on the spot.

Ngezi Platinum were forced to substitute their utility player Qadr Amini due to an injury, a move which proved fatal for the Mhondoro-Ngezi outfit.

Donald Teguru blew away Ngezi’s final chance in the penultimate minutes of the game when he was picked just outside the box, but his strike went over the bar.

Clive Augusto also missed the target by a few inches when he was picked by Dzvukamanja in the box.

Teams:

FC Platinum: W Magalane, I Nekati, G Bello, K Moyo, E Moyo, W Mhango, R Chinyengetere( B Mzondiwa 90’), N Masuku( G Takwara 80’), C Sibanda( G Mbweti 64’), A Sadiki, M Dube.

Ngezi Platinum: T Mawaya, D Tavari, P Jaure, Q Amini( T Mchisa 77′) L Chakoroma, X Moyo ( D Teguru 82’) G Murwira, W Mukanga, M Charamba, C Augusto, T Dzvukamanja( K Bulaji 79’).

Results and fixtures at a glance:

Yesterday: FC Platinum 2-1 Ngezi Platinum FC, Bantu Rovers FC 2-3 Dynamos FC.

Today: How Mine FC v Shabanie Mine FC (Luveve, 1pm, SS), Chicken Inn FC v Chapungu FC (Luveve 3pm, SS), CAPS United FC v Bulawayo City FC (National Sports Stadium), Yadah FC v Highlanders FC (Rufaro), Hwange FC v Harare City FC (Colliery), Black Rhinos FC v ZPC Kariba FC (Morris Depot), Triangle United v Tsholotsho FC (Gibbo).

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