BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC Platinum inched closer towards reaching the quarter-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup after edging Triangle 2-1 in a pulsating Group 4 encounter played at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
Following his hat-trick in the first match of the competition last week, Rodwell Chinyengetere was again the toast of the day after he scored his fourth goal of the tournament from the penalty spot to secure the win for the platinum miners.
Nevertheless, Triangle had looked set to settle for a share of the spoils thanks to a Delic Murimba wonder goal, but that was not enough to save face for the Lowveld side.
Murimba had given the visitors an eighth-minute lead after beating Petros Mhari with a perfect 20-yard volley.
After the goal, the platinum ministers instantly turned the screws in search of an equaliser, but the Triangle backline would not easily crack.
At one moment, Silas Songani dribbled his way past the twin centre-backs, Brian Chikwenya and Arnold Chivheya, but his final effort was tame.
Increasingly dominant FC Platinum did well to equalise, with speed merchant Donald Teguru bullying Jameson Mukombwe before placing the ball between goalie Takabva Mawaya’s legs.
However, the goal was credited to Stanley Ngala who pushed the ball past the goal line on the 30-minute mark.
From then on, Norman Mapeza’s side seized control of proceedings in terms of possession, free-kicks and corner kicks having initially been beaten to every ball by the Lowveld side.
The introduction of Innocent Mucheneka and Rainsome Pavari further stabilised their team, with the former impressing with some silky on-and-off the ball movements.
Consequently, the three-time PSL champions grabbed the lead on the 78th minute mark, through a penalty that was hugely contested by the Triangle bench although it looked genuine.
Chinyengetere converted from the spot kick after he was fouled in the box by Chikwenya.
Mapeza, however, was unhappy with the way his men applied themselves throughout the match.
“Our ball circulation was not as good as the last match. We needed to be better and control the game, but at some point we found ourselves trailing behind them,” Mapeza said.
“The players panicked of which there was not need to panic. We only need to remain composed.
“We can’t win games with such a mentality. Next time I hope we will raise our game and even put more pressure to score more goals than today. That is how games are won.
“But the overall result is what we needed to make ourselves comfortable as far as the tournament is concerned. We could have won by a big margin because we had so many chances while our opponents had one chance which they converted,” Mapeza said.
The veteran mentor heaped praise on Chinyengetere who is getting better with age.
“I am happy with how Rodwell is commanding the team with his experience and always giving us that edge when we need it. I hope the young players are observing how he does it,” he said.
Indeed the miners could have won by a bigger margin had they been precise in front of goal.
Rising star Kelvin Mangiza almost hit the target 80 minutes into the game with a curling free-kick that was parried by Takabva Mawaya.
Russel Madamombe also had his fine strike tipped over the bar by Mhari who was tested on fewer occasions compared to his counterpart, Mawaya.
Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro conceded defeat, but remained hopeful that his side stands a chance of qualifying to the next stage if they win the remaining matches.
“We lost, but I am hopeful that we will be better in the remaining matches. We are still in it to compete, but right now everything solely depends on how other teams in the group play,” Mangwiro said.
“Today we were better than the match against Ngezi. Aside from the penalty, we could have snatched a point from this one.”