BY TERRY MADYAUTA in Zvishavane
FC Platinum…………………. (0) 0
Mushowani…………………… (0) 0
FC PLATINUM’s title charge suffered a major blow after missing a golden opportunity to move to the top of the log following a subdued performance against Mushowani in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
The platinum miners came into the encounter with a measure of confidence following successful exploits on the Africa Safari where they beat UD Songo of Mozambique in the first round of the Champions League.
But yesterday their opponents gave them a reality check as they put up a performance full of determination to stop their title passage while also boosting their chances of surviving relegation.
Petros Mhari was the hero for FC Platinum as he denied Mushowani’s numerous goal-bound chances.
The Shamva-based side got their first clear-cut chance on 28th-minute when FC Platinum’s Democratic Republic of Congo import Guvye Nsiala lost possession to Amon Kambanje in a dangerous position. Kambanje spotted an unmarked Webster Tafa inside the box, with space to shoot, but Mhari rescued the miners.
The platinum miners’ goalkeeper also denied Sylon Chikwerengwe from a similar situation, after the Mushowani forward broke loose on the counter, with FC Platinum defenders caught off- guard.
Rainsome Pavari had FC Platinum’s only meaningful chance when he was set up by Lameck Nhamo in a promising position on the half-hour mark, but his attempted volley was tamed.
Gift Mbweti almost scored late in the second half when he was picked unmarked in the box by Rahman Kutsanzira, but his effort hit the upright, before rolling out of play.
Mushowani goalkeeper Admire Masuku made what was probably the best save of the day, when he denied Albert Eonde from close range with a super dive in regulation time.
After the match FC Platinum coach Lizwe Sweswe said he was satisfied with the result despite its implications on their title charge.
“This point will take us somewhere. Today we played well, it’s just that we could not score, but I am happy with the way the boys applied themselves. We would have loved to be on top of the log, but we believe there are still strong prospects for us to defend our title,” he said.
His counterpart Newman Mashipe was on cloud nine.
“This is a massive result considering the team we were playing today and it will go a long way in boosting our confidence. The way we travelled today was not so organised, but walking away with a point is massive,” said Mashipe.
“I am happy with the performance and I hope the boys continue with this kind of show. It was a good fight.”
The platinum miners missed a chance of reclaiming pole position on the log standings as they remained third with 40 points.
FC Platinum: P Mhari, R Muduviwa, G Bello, E Tendayi, K Mangiza, R Pavari, D Chafa (A Eonde 76’), R Chinyengetere, R Kutsanzira, G Nsiala (G Mbweti 53’), L Nhamo (P Chikwende 53’).
Mushowani: A Masuku, C Musimwa, C Nyakope, E Mafirenyika, T Webster, C Dzingayi (T Mutyambizi 86’), A Kambanje, S Chikwerengwe, P Charamba (J Tulani 80’), C Zimondi (B Phiri 74’), C Rukwanhi.