BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Yadah FC ……….(0) 0
FC Platinum….. (1)1
CHAMPIONS FC Platinum shot to top of the log standings after they laboured to a narrow win over Yadah FC in a hotly contested Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
Devon Chafa scored a 37th minute penalty to ensure that FC Platinum collect points on the road to wrestle the lead from CAPS United, who are away in Hwange this afternoon.
The result was cruel on Yadah, who matched their much-fancied opponents pound-for-pound.
In the end Yadah FC coach Genesis Mangombe was left with a bitter taste in the mouth.
“You know playing a big team like FC Platinum you don’t expect to see match officials taking sides,” Mangombe fumed in his post-match interview.
“Already by virtue of being FC Platinum playing Yadah FC there is a big difference. When you look at the quality of players and quality of everything then you add the official, it’s not football.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose this game. We played very well according to our game plan and we matched them, but it seems the referees had other thoughts,” he said.
While the odds were heavily stacked against them, Yadah FC surprised many as they took the game to FC Platinum early on. The biggest let-down for the hosts was failure to create clear-cut goal-scoring chances.
And when Wellington Kamudyariwa hacked down Ali Sadiki in the box about 13 minutes before halftime, it was the hosts’ first mistake of the game.
Up stepped Chafa to send Issah Ali the wrong way to give the visitors the lead. Mkhokheli Dube’s goal was flagged offside moments later as FC Platinum threatened to run away with the contest.
Chafa missed another sitter early in the second half after he was fed by Dube.
“It was a game of moments, there is a time we did well and there is a time they did well. This is our second game playing one of those teams that always gives us problem in Harare,” Mapeza said after the match.
“If you look at Harare City, they always give us problems here and Yadah as well. I have been talking much about it that football is in Harare this season, so the win is a massive result for us,” he added.
Meanwhile, in another match played at Nyamhunga Stadium visiting Premiership newboys Manica Diamonds held ZPC Kariba to a one-all draw.
Manica Diamonds opened the scoring soon after the restart through Stanley Ngala before James Marufu got ZPC Kariba’s equaliser in the 67th minute as both teams settled for a share of the spoils.
At the National Sports Stadium, Peter Chota could have secured all three points for Herentals who held in-form Chapungu to a goalless draw..
Yadah FC: A Issah, Z Biseki, B Madzokere, A Makopa, B Chikwenya, N Mhlanga (C Mutero 67′), W Kamudyariwa, L Mavunga, R Matema (P Kafelapanjela 84′), J Sibanda, I Sadiki (M Musiyakuvi 65′)
FC Platinum: P Mhari, R Muduviwa (G Murwira 7′), G Bello, K Moyo, R Moyo, R Madzongwe, N Tigere, D Chafa, R Kutsanzira (G Mbweti 65′), A Sadiki, M Dube
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League results and fixtures:
Yesterday: Chicken Inn 0-0 Black Rhinos, Herentals 0-0 Chapungu, Yadah FC 0-1FC Platinum, ZPC Kariba 1-1 Manica Diamonds
Today: Triangle v Bulawayo Chiefs (Gibbo), Mushowani Stars v Harare City (National Sports Stadium), Hwange v CAPS United (Colliery), TelOne v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Dynamos v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Rufaro Stadium).